Crisis in Afghanistan highlights need for foreign aid

Crisis in Afghanistan highlights need for foreign aid

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Last month, the world watched in horror as the militant group The Taliban seized control of the capital city of Kabul in Afghanistan for the first time in 20 years.

Years of violence, instability and corruption had already left the country's economy in a fragile state, but this recent takeover has pushed things to breaking point.

Financial hardships aside, thousands of people are scrambling to leave Afghanistan in the hope of escaping The Taliban's abusive and oppressive regime, which has been condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement and interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

Citizens who are unable to escape face a dangerous and uncertain future.

Seeing crises like these unfold once again highlights the importance of foreign aid - not just from our government but also from the everyday person.

Being able to donate to Afghanistan doesn't just benefit the recipients but ourselves as well.

Why is foreign aid and donation important?

Foreign aid helps address some of the world's most pressing issues, including poverty, disease and famine.

By raising awareness for these issues, more people are able to get involved, which increases donations, leading to a chain reaction that ultimately saves lives.

By giving to charities and organisations that provide aid to Afghanistan, you'll be helping to support the local economy as well as helping displaced persons and families afford food, shelter and protection.

And with many humanitarian organisations forced to leave Afghanistan at this time, even the most minor contribution can go a long way.

However, there are other ways to show your support in addition to charitable donations.

On a recent episode of ABC's Q+A, Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights chief executive Diana Sayed encouraged people to take action by reaching to officials and communicating about the humanitarian response they would like to see from their government.

"There is so much you can do, and Australia has a moral imperative to us; to show up in our time of need," Ms Sayed said.

How is Australia showing its support?

As The Taliban's control over the country strengthens, many people are asking what Australia is doing to support displaced Afghani citizens who are suffering. The government recently announced they're offering 3,000 of its 13,750 humanitarian visas to those now fleeing Afghanistan.

Priority will be given to people with family already in Australia, women and children and those belonging to a persecuted minority.

While this could be considered a modest step in terms of providing aid, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a recent statement that the COVID-19 pandemic is making things difficult:

"COVID has meant that the process of running our refugee and humanitarian program, like all of our visa programs, have been running at lower levels," he said.

"And so we can accommodate these additional numbers, but within the existing processes."

While Australia's actions and those of other countries like Britain and the United States will help provide support and protection to those in Afghanistan, it also highlights the need for support from individuals.

Whether it's donating to charity or reaching out to support your local Afghan community members, crises like this remind us how a small show of kindness can go a long way.