There have been desperate scenes in Afghanistan this week as the Taliban swept into Kabul, retaking the country’s capital almost 20 years after being ousted by a United States-led military coalition that included Australia as an ally.

Thousands of Afghans are now trying to flee the country, and the news footage being beamed out of Hamid Karzai International Airport and other parts of the country can leave you feeling completely helpless.

But you can help. Below is a short list of humanitarian groups that will put your money to good use, either by supplying aid and support on the ground in Afghanistan, or via legal support to those seeking asylum. It’s not exhaustive, but it’s a start.

If you can’t afford to give, you can make a difference by writing to your local MP, demanding, among other things, a one-off humanitarian intake into Australia of Afghanistan’s most vulnerable people. The Refugee and Casework Service has a handy template, and here’s where to find your local federal member of parliament.

Launch Good: Mariam for Afghanistan
The UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is dedicated to saving lives and protecting the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced communities. This year it’s been providing assistance and support for Afghan families displaced by fighting in the north of the country – including emergency shelter, food, health services, water, sanitation support and cash assistance. This crowdfunded campaign lets you donate a variety of amounts, from $5 to $1290, to help provide Afghan families with everything from shelter to food, water and medicine.
launchgood.com/campaign/afghanistanemergency2#!/.

International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has operated across Afghanistan since 1987, helping wounded and disabled people, supporting hospitals, monitoring the conduct of hostilities and preventing international humanitarian law violations, among many other tasks. More than 40,000 people wounded by weapons have been treated at ICRC-supported facilities in June, July and August. The ICRC released a statement on Tuesday reaffirming its commitment to the people of Afghanistan. “The ICRC is determined to stand by the Afghan people and help men, women and children cope with the unfolding situation,” Robert Mardini, the director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said in the statement.
icrc.org.

HADIA Foundation
HADIA is an Australian-registered charity that helps create self-sustainable communities by providing humanitarian assistance in the areas of health, education, sport and development. Its current flagship programs operate in Afghanistan, where it runs a mobile library for children, provides free eyesight-restoration surgeries, prosthetic limbs for landmine victims, multivitamins and sporting equipment.
hadiafoundation.org.

Mahboba’s Promise
This Australian aid organisation is continuing its work on the ground in Afghanistan. It provides development aid to disadvantaged Afghan women, widows, children and orphans through schooling, health services and community facilities set up to be operated by local authorities and communities. A $150 donation will provide a single family with shelter, food, water, baby formula, blankets, pillows and basic hygiene to meet their fundamental needs – but you can give any amount you’re able to.
mahbobaspromise.org

Women for Women International
Women for Women International is a Washington, DC-based non-profit humanitarian organisation that provides practical and moral support to women survivors of war in countries such as Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda and of course Afghanistan. You can sign up for either a one-time or a monthly donation. Find details of its emergency support drive for Afghan women online. A member of the WFWI community is matching up to US$500,000 in donations to the Afghanistan program, dollar for dollar.
support.womenforwomen.org/donate/afghanistan-emergency-2x-match?src=SBUA21082A

Save the Children
Global organisation Save the Children was founded in 1919 and works to give a voice to children and champion their rights. In 2019 Save the Children directly reached 38.7 million of the world’s most vulnerable children in 117 countries. It’s running an emergency donation drive for Afghanistan.
savethechildren.org/us/where-we-work/afghanistan