Afghanistan crisis: How CAFOD is responding and how you can help
26 August 2021
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, as tens of thousands more Afghans flee their homes, compounding an existing crisis following decades of conflict and drought.
Afghan families displaced inside the country and those who have reached neighbouring countries need humanitarian assistance – the basics of life: food, water and shelter.
What is the current situation in Afghanistan?
We have all been shocked by the news of the Taliban takeover of the capital Kabul and control over the vast majority of Afghanistan.
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.
The UN estimates that 80 per cent of Afghans forced to flee since the end of May 2021 are women and children now in desperate need of humanitarian aid.
How are CAFOD and local experts responding to the situation?
It is a rapidly changing and uncertain situation, and we are doing everything possible to ensure the immediate wellbeing of local partners and the communities they serve.
Their vital work has started to resume in some areas and we will be looking to support the most vulnerable Afghans with humanitarian aid and longer-term support.
Your generosity and compassion have allowed us to stand together with communities in Afghanistan for decades, and we will continue to do so.
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.