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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 19 October 2021

Charities praise generosity of Irish people as they raise funds to support Afghan communities

A number of organisations have launched relief appeals as well as campaigns urging the government to resettle refugees.

A child drinking water during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A child drinking water during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

CHARITIES HAVE SAID they have received significant support from the Irish public for emergency Afghanistan aid appeals following the recent Talbian takeover.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland has said the organisation’s recently-launched Afghan emergency relief appeal has received “incredible support”.

Amnesty is is one of 11 organisations to send a callout to the Irish government to resettle at least 1,000 refugees and to speed up family reunification.

It has started a petition campaign which enables members of the public to send an email to the Taoiseach and ministers encouraging the government to “take every necessary measure to ensure the safe passage out of Afghanistan for all those at risk of being targeted by the Taliban”.

“The response from the public has just been extraordinary,” O’Gorman said.

“We’ve had nearly 2,000 emails sent to the government supporting our campaign, a huge response on social media, and our Afghan emergency relief appeal has just launched and we’re seeing the same incredible support there.

“Even though the Taliban have said they have changed, our researchers were on the ground and verified a brutal massacre in the Ghazni province just a few weeks ago. There are reports that Taliban are drawings lists, and going from house to house and knocking on the doors of journalists and women activists. We cannot take our eyes of Afghanistan.”

Concern, which has also been running an Afghanistan funding appeal in recent days, said Irish people have been “generous in their support”. 

Concern Worldwide’s CEO, Dominic MacSorley, said regardless of who is in charge humanitarian assistance is “the only lifeline for millions of people and it will remain that way as the root causes of the crisis will not be addressed overnight”.

“What Afghan communities need now, most of all, is reassurance that the international community will not withdraw funding or abandon them,” he said.

MacSorley said that while the focus of attention now is on Kabul evacuations, it is important to remember that there are 18 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, of which three million children are at risk of “acute malnutrition”.

“Concern has been in Afghanistan for 23 years and we are not going anywhere,” he said.

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“The people of Ireland have supported our work throughout this time and I’ve every confidence they will again in this hour of need.”

UNICEF Ireland executive director Peter Power also this week expressed concern about the millions of children in Afghanistan who need humanitarian assistance. 

“People in Ireland have always been so generous when children and families around the world need their support, and we are seeing that at UNICEF once again,” he said.

UNICEF has also been running an Afghanistan appeal to support the agency’s work providing access to water, sanitation, nutrition, education, health and protection services.

“Our UNICEF teams on the ground anticipate that the needs of children and women will only increase over the coming months amidst a severe drought, the devastating consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the onset of winter,” Power said.

He the support from people in Ireland will help UNICEF specialists across the country to scale up programmes for children and women “including through the delivery of health, nutrition and water services to displaced families”.

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