Afghanistan crisis: How CAFOD is responding and how you can help
22 November 2021
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled their homes, compounding an existing crisis following periods of drought and decades of conflict. As winter approaches, millions of people face hunger and extreme poverty.
What is the current situation in Afghanistan?
The humanitarian situation has deteriorated since mid-August when the Taliban took over the capital Kabul and took control of Afghanistan.
Afghan families are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance: food, water and shelter.
More than half the country’s population – around 22.8 million people – are facing acute hunger this winter, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has warned.
The situation in Afghanistan is highly complex with decades of conflict that have taken a terrible toll on Afghan people, resulting in deaths, injuries and pushing families further into poverty. Drought and coronavirus have added even greater problems for vulnerable families struggling with hunger and healthcare.
How are CAFOD and local experts responding to the situation?
The work of our local partners has now resumed, and they are preparing to provide food packages and cash assistance to vulnerable families.
4,000 displaced Afghan families will be supported to access clean drinking water (through the provision and installation of 200 water tanks) and will be provided with hygiene kits.
We will be supporting Afghans who have urgent humanitarian needs over the coming months – both within Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries – whilst also continuing to provide longer-term support.
We work with trusted partners who are close to the communities they serve and are therefore able to ensure your donation securely reaches those who need it most.
CAFOD started working in Afghanistan in the late 1980s and a core part of our work has been to support Afghan organisations committed to improving the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people, supporting them to earn a living.
What has the Catholic Church said about the situation in Afghanistan?
Pope Francis has expressed his “unanimous concern for the situation in Afghanistan”. He called for prayers “so that the clamour of weapons may cease, and solutions may be found at the negotiating table".
The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has called on the UK government to allow more refugees to come to the UK in light of the situation in Afghanistan.
In a joint letter to the Guardian newspaper on 26 August, Bishop Paul McAleenan, lead bishop for migrants and refugees of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, urged the British government "to go further in helping at-risk Afghans, human rights defenders and women activists, and create safe passages so that people can find sanctuary without resorting to dangerous journeys.”
Please continue to keep the people of Afghanistan in your thoughts and prayers.