TORONTO — Chaos is unfolding in Afghanistan as the Taliban has swept through the country.
Images and videos coming out of Afghanistan may have Canadians wondering if there’s anything they can do to help the people who now find themselves under threat by the Taliban.
The federal government has set up a program to help resettle Canadian embassy staff and Afghan interpreters who assisted Canadian military operations. The program allows Canadians to volunteer or donate clothing, furniture or money.
But with an estimated 1,000 interpreters still in Kabul, many are still desperate to leave and have been pleading for assistance.
“We will continue to work to get as many Afghan interpreters and their families out as quickly as possible as long as the security situation holds,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday.
In the meantime, there are a number of organizations working on the ground in Afghanistan that Canadians can make donations to.
VETERANS TRANSITION NETWORK
A Canadian-veteran led non-profit organization, the Veterans Transition Network has set up an emergency support fund specifically to provide shelter and support to interpreters and their families in Afghanistan awaiting relocation to Canada. Donations will be able to help people immediately by paying for interim housing and a basic living wage, while they navigate an avenue of escape.
ISLAMIC RELIEF CANADA
Displacement can quickly turn into a need for food, water and hygiene, and Islamic Relief Canada is asking for donations to provide all three to those in Afghanistan. The organization says they’ve been on the ground helping those in the country for more than 20 years.
WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL
With the Taliban’s quick movement through the country, there are reports they have already begun targeting the freedom and agency of women and girls. Women for Women International is an organization that supports women who are survivors of war and conflict. It tweeted Sunday that while their team in Afghanistan has had to take shelter, they continue to accept donations in order to help find women safe places to meet and create support networks for women to stay connected. The organization also states on their donation page that an unnamed supporter has pledged to match up to US$500,000 in donations to its Afghanistan program.
INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SUPPORT
Journalists in Afghanistan face extreme danger amid the Taliban takeover, according to the the Committee to Protect Journalists. International Media Support is a non-profit that supports local media in countries affected by armed conflict and works to maintain freedom of the press. The organization is accepting donations on behalf of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee in order to help provide reporters with shelters and safehouses, as well as ongoing support to ensure independent journalists can continue to operate.