Over the past few weeks, the headlines have displayed countless instances of suffering and tragedy on a global scale. On August 14, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, just weeks after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Then On August 15, the Afghanistan government collapsed and the capital was seized by the Taliban, igniting an era of uncertainty, leaving citizens desperate for refuge.
In the wake of these global disasters, many of us are asking: How can I help? Is there anything I can do? The short answer is: Yes, absolutely. This week, we take a look at the organizations working to aid citizens in Haiti and Afghanistan, and break down how you can get involved.
Help For Haiti
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti caused severe damage across the country, toppling buildings and destroying roads, schools, health clinics, and other public infrastructure. Unfortunately, the nation is still suffering effects from its 2010 earthquake, as well as hurricane damage and widespread poverty. 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, are in need of urgent assistance. Here are some organizations you can donate to right now to reach survivors with food, health services, and shelter:
Mercy Corps: All over the world, Mercy Corps works alongside communities to help families affected by disasters, conflict, and climate change. The organization has responded to almost every global natural disaster in the last 20 years, including the Nepal earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Mercy Corps team members are already on the ground in Haiti, addressing urgent needs at the epicenter of the quake. Donations will help them procure kits with essential supplies, including water purification tabs, soap, diapers, mosquito nets, sheets as well as solar lanterns. They also plan to provide cash assistance to 5,000 families so they can purchase what they need most.
CARE’s Haiti Crisis Fund: CARE is an organization dedicated to saving lives, defeating poverty, achieving social justice, and fighting for women and girls. Donating to CARE’S Haiti Crisis Fund will help reach tens of thousands of vulnerable Haitians with emergency food, health services, and shelter.
GreatNonprofits – Haiti Earthquake Relief: GreatNonprofits is the leading platform for community-sourced organizations operating for social benefit. Their Haiti Earthquake Relief Giving Fund allows you to make one donation that will help multiple organizations all working to help people of Haiti recover from this devastating natural disaster. Donations to this fund will be used for:
- Providing families with urgently needed supplies, food and shelter materials.
- Treating the injured at the clinic sites and in the field, providing radiography and sonography services for patients.
- Arranging for tents as protection for patients with PTSD who are fearful of coming inside for care.
- Transporting the seriously wounded in emergency transport vehicles.
- Identifying organizations who can be ready to assist with replenishing food, medicine, and other supplies.
Haiti Air Ambulance: Haiti Air Ambulance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing emergency helicopter services to the people of Haiti. Donations to Haiti Air Ambulance will directly support their 24/7 emergency rescue efforts in response to the medical and humanitarian crisis Haitians are facing right now.
World Central Kitchen: World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to nourish communities and strengthen economies through times of crisis and beyond. The organization was founded following Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010. Since its founding, WCK has provided tens of millions of hot, nutritious meals for communities around the world. Donations will be used to help the WCK Team work to get meals to first responders and families impacted by the earthquake.
Help For Afghanistan
In the week since Taliban militants arrived in Kabul, nearly 400,000 Afghans have fled their homes seeking refuge. When the Taliban last held power between 1996 and 2001, women were denied education and employment opportunities, and could only be seen in public with a male escort — and the punishment for defying these rules was severe. Over the past twenty years, though, girls have been enrolled in school, mortality rates among children have decreased, and women’s rights have increased. However, with the Taliban back in power, all of that progress is at stake. To help the people of Afghanistan as well as refugees, look to these organizations:
Women for Women International: Women for Women International is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides support to female survivors of war. The organization is working around the clock to get at-risk colleagues out of Afghanistan. Women for Women International is collecting donations to help assist with evacuations of women’s rights activists who are most at risk, securing visas for those who wish to leave, supplying women with solar powered phones so while isolated they can connect with each other, and providing referrals to services such as psychosocial support for women in the country. While doing so, the organization is also attempting to maintain the safety of its own team.
Protect Afghan Women: Protect Afghan Women is a project of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, whose mission is to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism. By donating, you can help the evacuation of at-risk women activists, journalists, politicians, peacebuilders, and their families, and provide support so they can be resettled with dignity.
CARE’s Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund: One of the world’s largest humanitarian aid organizations, CARE has a long history of helping people in Afghanistan. Donating to the CARE’s Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund will help to reach 500,000 vulnerable Afghans with emergency food, health services, shelter, and cross-border support for refugees.
Women for Afghan Women: Women for Afghan Women (WAW) works to help Afghan women and girls exercise their rights to pursue their individual potential to self-determination, and to representation in all areas of life — political, social, cultural, and economic. Over the past few weeks, WAW has been working 24/7. Donations to Women for Afghan Women will help thousands of families find the shelter and resources they need.
UNICEF: For more than 65 years, UNICEF has been working to promote and protect the rights of children and women in Afghanistan. In recent days, more than 400 families fleeing conflict and instability in Kunduz, Sar-e Pol and Takhar provinces have taken shelter in Peer Mohammad Kakar High School in Dasht-e-Padola, southern Kabul. UNICEF mobile health teams were dispatched to provide healthcare to the pregnant women, mothers and children sheltering at the high school. Donating to UNICEF will help increase its humanitarian response and deliver much-needed support to the Afghan population, particularly women and children.
If you’d like to do more than donate, or are interested in assisting refugees in your own city, click here for additional resources and other ways to help.