World Humanitarian Day: humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

19 Aug 21
Downtown Kabul
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Downtown Kabul

Afghanistan is facing an unfolding humanitarian crisis, giving a tragic relevance to this year’s World Humanitarian Day.  

 

Thousands of families, especially women and girls who face disproportionate risks to their health, safety and wellbeing, are at increased risk of becoming homeless. This is in addition to over 3.5 million Afghans already uprooted from their homes due to insecurity in the last years. 

 

“It is vital for the Australian Government to respond with compassion to this unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” says Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia. 

 

The country has been facing a serious humanitarian crisis due to the impacts of COVID-19, prolonged political unrest and climate change. 

 

Neighbouring countries, Iran and Pakistan, host more than two million Afghan refugees in total - nearly 90 per cent of displaced Afghans, however neither country is able to handle the increased need. 

 

“If Canada has already committed to 20,000 additional places for Afghan refugees, we could match this to show the international community that we will help alleviate the pressures on Iran and Pakistan to respond to this humanitarian crisis,” says Ms Robertson. 

 

 “We also need to extend the temporary visas of all Afghan citizens in Australia, extend permanent protection to any Afghans on temporary protection visas, and support family reunion applications for Afghan Australians.” 

“Over the last years, Caritas Australia, in partnership with CRS, has been able to support vulnerable communities in Afghanistan suffering the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and severe droughts which imposed risks to their lives and livelihoods.”

Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia’s Humanitarian and Emergencies Group Manager

“It is imperative that aid and development workers are able to ensure the safety of the Afghan people and the provision of basic needs”. 

 

Caritas Australia supports Caritas Internationalis statement for World Humanitarian Day by advocating for the survival and wellbeing of all people affected by this and other crises, putting the interest and dignity of the human person at the centre of all activities and decisions.  

 

You can provide support to vulnerable communities like those in Afghanistan. Donate to the Asia Regional Appeal now.

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