“We are seeing large-scale displacement in what is now a humanitarian emergency,” Christopher Boian, a senior communications officer for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told The Washington Post this week.
As the situation has escalated, organizations have launched initiatives to aid refugees. Some are providing aid to those remaining in the country, while others are helping Afghans resettling in the United States. Here’s how you can help.
For those in Afghanistan
The International Rescue Committee is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding people displaced by war, persecution or natural disaster. The organization has worked in Afghanistan since 1988, providing “displaced families with shelter, clean water, sanitation and other basic necessities,” according to its website, as well as education and cash assistance. The organization is accepting financial contributions for its relief efforts.
Women for Women International — a nonprofit that aids female survivors of war and conflict — established an emergency campaign in Afghanistan. According to its website, one donor is matching up to $500,000 in contributions for that program.
The Child Foundation, which helps impoverished children access education, created the Afghanistan Crisis Fund for Emergency Assistance in the Balkh province, where about 800 children supported by the foundation live. According to its website, it has raised $15,000 to feed 300 families. The organization is accepting contributions.
Also aiding members of the news media, the Committee to Protect Journalists is providing resources to Afghan journalists and urging the United States to ensure their safety “by facilitating safe passage out of the country and providing emergency visas.” The organization is accepting donations.
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a Washington-based organization that “invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges,” according to its website. It created the Afghan Women’s Fund to support the safety of women’s rights activists in Afghanistan and those who have been evacuated from the country.
Two organizations serving Muslim Americans have launched initiatives to aid displaced families in Afghanistan. Islamic Relief USA is accepting donations to help families struggling with hunger in Kabul, Balkh, Herat and Nangahar provinces. Muslim Aid USA is providing meals and hygiene kits to displaced people in Kabul and Konar province.
For those trying to leave
Miles4Migrants accepts donated airline frequent flier miles, credit card points and cash to help people reunite with loved ones or resettle in a new country after fleeing their own that’s imperiled by war, persecution or disaster.
Human Rights First is seeking pro bono lawyers to assist Afghan evacuees. The human rights organization is also offering resources to protect Afghans’ online identities from the Taliban — who “now likely to have access to various biometric databases and equipment in Afghanistan, including some left behind by coalition military forces,” according to the group. It is collecting donations for its relief response.
For Afghan refugees coming to the U.S.
The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is looking for volunteers to assist Afghan refugees with airport pickups, housing and meals. While efforts are focused on the Washington, D.C., region, Washington state and Texas, individuals can sign up for its general standby list. The group is also accepting donations.
Church World Service resettlement offices are providing housing, job training and social services to Afghan refugees in the United States. The nonprofit organization is accepting donations, as well as offers of rental units and sponsorships for arriving families. Interested people are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area is looking for volunteers to assist Afghan refugees in Washington. According to its website, the organization has aided 68 families and 294 individuals — it is anticipating another 150 people.
In Virginia, two locations are seeking Pashto and Dari interpreters to assist Afghan refugees: Dulles International Airport and Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. Interested people are asked to email email@example.com with subject line “Afghan Interpreters.”
Refugee Services of Texas is seeking volunteers to help Afghan refugees with apartment setup, orientation and transportation.
In Philadelphia, the Nationalities Service Center, a refugee resettlement agency, has volunteer opportunities for people welcoming Afghan families into their communities. The agency also established an Amazon Wish List for items to help stock refugees’ homes and is accepting donations. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)