Four decades of conflict and turmoil were not sufficient for Afghans. After the Taliban’s takeover of the country, the country was set to experience a new geopolitical catastrophe. More than 6 million Afghans were forcibly removed from their domiciles, with 3.5 million relocated within Afghanistan and 2.6 million housed as refugees, creating one of the world’s most long-standing refugee situations. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service provides humanitarian assistance and volunteering services to Afghan refugees.
Why did Afghanistan Face Such a Catastrophic Situation?
Although Afghans were suffering military conflicts, natural disasters, poverty, and food crises, the latest shift in government authority brought the ultimate doom to the country. Taliban’s capturing of Kabul in 2021 further intensified the existing problems in the country and further unstabilized the violence. This led to more human suffering and displacements.
Where Have the Afghans Fled to?
While the majority of Afghans are nationally displaced, at least 2.7 million have been driven to cross borders and are now living as refugees in 98 different countries. Afghan refugees are the world’s third-largest displaced population, after only Syrian refugees and Venezuelans. The vast majority of Afghan refugees live in Pakistan and Iran, which continue to house over 1.3 million and 780,000 registered Afghan refugees, respectively. Other countries are India, the US, Iran, and many more. Due to the lack of resources and the increasing number of refugees, the condition of refugee camps continues to worsen as time goes on.
How to Help Afghan Refugees?
The ongoing Afghan situation leaves many people questioning how they can support Afghan refugees in practical ways. As the situation in Afghanistan worsens because of security breaches and brutal acts of aggression against the Afghan people, it can be tough to know how to help Afghanistan while also staying safe. For now, people can join the force of NGOs like Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to volunteer for the welfare of the Afghans in refugee camps. Here are some ways in which golden heart people can volunteer to help Afghan refugees:
People can help Afghan refugees by raising funds for donations. Apart from sustaining their lives and daily needs for food, clothing, and basic amenities, this monetary contribution will help immigrants and refugees find jobs, education, and growth opportunities. Finding meaningful employment is critical to economic development and unity, and the funding backing ensures that refugees not only survive but thrive.
Advocacy for Afghan Refugees
Most Afghans were brought to the United States during Operation Allies Refuge. They entered the nation on humanitarian parole. This only lets those fleeing danger stay in the country for a limited time. These Afghans will need to find another way out before their parole runs out. People can volunteer with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to open fresh opportunities for genuine and long-term protection and to provide a robust humanitarian response to these tens of thousands of Afghans. There are two options for ensuring these people’s long-term safety: asylum and the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA). Volunteers can help newly arrived Afghans in completing the paperwork-intensive process to enter asylum or get access to AAA’s streamlined and speedy lawful permanent residency process.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service offer social workers, humanitarian and volunteers many options like refugee advocacy, donation camps, and teaching and mentoring session to allow regular people to contribute their effort in helping Afghan Refugees to get back on their feet while also protecting their safety by not directly engaging in the operations at dangerous, war-inflicted areas. These are the most practical and safest way to put genuine efforts into Afghan Refugee welfare.