By clicking "Submit", I certify that:
Afghanistan has endured decades of conflict. Since 2001, tens of thousands of people have lost their lives and nearly 6 million have been displaced from their homes. After 20 years of war, foreign forces began pulling out of the country in April 2021. Over the span of a few weeks the Taliban gained control of regional provinces, strategically important border cities, trade routes and other major cities. On 15 August Taliban forces took control of the country’s capital, Kabul.
The situation in Afghanistan is complex and humanitarian needs are high. These recent events and renewed violence have been devastating for people. Thousands have been injured and a further half-a-million have been displaced as they flee their homes in search of safety. Hospitals, homes and vital infrastructure such as electricity and water supply systems have also been damaged or destroyed.
Our partners, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Afghan Red Crescent Society have been providing life-saving humanitarian support to people across Afghanistan for decades. Providing essential healthcare to the injured, reconnecting families who have been separated through conflict, providing clean water and sanitation facilities to communities, as well as shelter for families who have been displaced and other vital humanitarian services.
At Australian Red Cross, our teams are helping people who have lost contact with their family members in Afghanistan. Every day, we work with refugees, people seeking asylum, and people on temporary visas. We support many people from Afghanistan who are now living in Australia, providing casework support, emergency relief, links to mental health, housing and employment support, and responding to their individual needs.
We are also working with the Australian Government to ensure safety, wellbeing and certainty for people currently in Afghanistan as well as those who are living in Australia - including refugees and people on temporary visas. We stand ready to assist communities in meeting the humanitarian needs of those impacted.
Donations to our Afghanistan Crisis Appeal will help provide life-saving humanitarian support to people in Afghanistan and help Afghan communities in Australia reconnect with missing family members. That support may include:
Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet community needs in affected areas or if there are changes in circumstances beyond Australian Red Cross’ control, excess funds will be directed to meet the needs of other vulnerable communities in disaster or crisis across the globe.
We really appreciate the generosity, but we are not accepting in-kind donations for food, clothes, medical equipment or other items, as we’re unable to distribute those overseas. There are several good reasons for this. Every item must be checked, cleaned, sorted, packed, transported, stored and distributed, which hugely increases the cost of the relief effort and diverts from work that may be needed on the ground.
Also, the items donated aren’t always what people need. Even worse, unwanted boxes of donated goods can clog ports and post offices and prevent the delivery of essential items like medicines and relief supplies.
Our experience with emergencies shows that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover sooner. This is because people can make their own dignified choices – including purchasing the goods they need for their own families.
The website DonateResponsibly.org has a great explanation of what can go wrong.
If you have good-quality clothes or household items, our Red Cross Shops would gratefully accept them, to on-sell in Australia and raise funds for our vital work. Find out how you can donate. Stores in several states are currently closed because of COVID-19 pandemic - they will be open again as soon as we are able.
Our Restoring Family Links team can help people who have lost contact with relatives in Afghanistan due to the current situation. We assess cases, and work through the global Family Links Network to assist people to re-establish contact with family members. Please be aware that because of the evolving situation this may take some time.
Our Restoring Family Links hotline is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (AEST) on 1800 875 199 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People concerned for the welfare of family and friends in the region, should first attempt to contact them directly. If the person overseas is an Australian citizen, they should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (for enquirers in Australia) or +612 6261 3305 (for enquirers overseas). For other enquiries, contact our Tracing Service.