It’s been 1 year since Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban. Almost overnight, the reality for Afghan people quickly changed, with girls no longer able to safely go to school and many women – from judges, to academics, to artists – forced into hiding.
Since then, the economy in Afghanistan has collapsed, partly because of the withdrawal of international support and investments. This has left Afghan people living through a violent change of government, mass internal displacement and a financial crisis – all of which impacted access to work. Even those who are still employed are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Throughout the winter, millions of people were living on the brink of starvation, without enough food. Now, in late summer, armed forces are becoming an increasing presence across the country. Many still living in Afghanistan are becoming afraid to leave their houses to buy basic essentials for fear of armed members of the Taliban in their local areas.
For those trying to leave, the pathway to evacuation has been extremely difficult and expensive. Lots of families have been separated in the process of finding safety, and are living with worry for their loved ones, sometimes not knowing where their family members are, or if they are safe.
When people have been able to leave and resettle elsewhere, the journey has been long and complicated, with a lack of prepared housing or support to help them when they finally arrived in Europe or to the US. Many people are still waiting in limbo and without access to employment or education.
Last year, in response to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, we responded by launching a crowdfunding campaign, which, thanks to your incredible generosity, raised more than $400,000 in one week, and now a total of $1.2million.
In the past year, this money has been distributed to Afghan-led organisations working in Afghanistan, as well as organisations in the US and across Europe, supporting people who left the country to resettle and build new lives.
Our partners do incredible work, such as Afghans for a Better Tomorrow, who are an advocacy, education and direct action organisation founded by children of Afghan refugees and working in the US. Currently, they’re focussing on enhancing the community support for refugees being resettled in places with no significant Afghan diaspora, to make sure everyone can feel at home in their new surroundings.
We’re working with the Association of Afghan Healthcare Professionals, who are a network of Afghan medical professionals based in the UK supporting medical staff and facilities in Afghanistan – from running pop up clinics to supplying people with food and water.
Amna, previously Refugee Trauma Initiative, was founded five years ago by a psychotherapist who came to the UK from Afghanistan as a child refugee with her family. The group are doing ground-breaking work, delivering programmes which help to address the need for trauma-informed support for Afghan refugees in Greece.
While the situation in Afghanistan has shifted from the front pages, for those still living in Afghanistan, or people who are trying to rebuild their lives elsewhere, among numerous new challenges, there is still a long way to go.
Please keep donating to help fund the crucial work of the organisations above and many more, and stand in solidarity with Afghan people.