People in Australia have responded with open hearts as the turmoil continues in Afghanistan but need on the ground is likely to rapidly increase given recent events in Kabul.
Donations to the Australian Red Cross Afghanistan appeal have topped $500,000 in just a week.
Head of International Humanitarian Programs, Adrian Prouse, said the horrific blasts last night near Kabul airport reflect the increasingly volatile situation that people in Afghanistan are dealing with.
“The donations will provide critical aid as the Red Cross movement continues to respond to the growing humanitarian needs of the Afghan people,” Adrian Prouse said.
“We are horrified by the blast in Kabul, which has killed scores of people, including many children. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of decades of violence, and the impact of this is being heavily felt by already-strained health facilities,” said the Head of Mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Australia, David Tuck.
“At this time, medical services are as important as ever to address humanitarian needs, both in Kabul and across the whole country,” he said.
In the first two weeks of August, the International Committee of the Red Cross helped treat more than 7,000 people wounded in clashes before the Taliban took control of the capital.
More than 40,000 people wounded by weapons were treated at ICRC-supported facilities in June, July and August. Tens of thousands of patients have been assisted at rehabilitation centres.
In Australia, Australian Red Cross teams across Australia have strong connections to Afghanistan through their migrant support work.
“We are getting calls from people distressed because they can't reach their loved ones. They are worried and searching for answers,” Protection manager, Nicole Batch said.
Funds raised will go to:
“The Afghan people should not have to pay the price for the political change. The delivery of essential services requires continued support by the international community to avoid severe humanitarian consequences,” says Adrian Prouse.
Donations can be made via redcross.org.au/Afghanistan or by phoning 1800 REDCROSS (1800 733 276)
If you have lost contact with family members, you should first attempt to contact them directly. If you cannot establish contact, call our hotline on 1800 875 199 for assistance.