Afghanistan Crisis Appeal Latest updates

Afghanistan Crisis Appeal Latest updates

Teenage boy recites Burns Night prayer for millions impacted by Afghan crisis

A 14-year-old Afghan Scottish schoolboy from Glasgow has recited a Scots prayer for Burns Night to help raise funds for the ongoing food crisis in Afghanistan.

Arya Bostani, whose father Abdul came to Scotland from Afghanistan 20 years ago, has recorded a version of “The Selkirk Grace”.

The Scots-language prayer is traditionally delivered at a Burns supper and has been attributed to the esteemed Scottish poet Robert Burns after he is said to have recited it at a dinner held by the Earl of Selkirk in 1794.

Huw Owen, from the DEC in Scotland said: “This Burns Night, please celebrate that you have ‘meat to eat’, but also take just a moment to donate to the DEC appeal and help families in Afghanistan get the food they so badly need. Your donation will help save lives.”

Harrowing ITV News report highlights desperate plight of Afghan families

A devastating news report by ITV's John Ray has been widely shared online after highlighting the desperate situation facing families in Afghanistan.

The report includes footage of children barefoot in the snow, a school teacher offering to sell his daughter as he can no longer care for her, and doctors struggling to save severely malnourished babies battling for breath on a hospital ward. Some of the images are very distressing.

"The shocking and harrowing pictures that John Ray brought from Afghanistan - emacitated families, children dying before our eyes - must now spur us into emergency humaniatian action," former prime minister Gordon Brown told ITV News. "It's an emergency. People are dying. We've a duty to help."

Responding to the footage, DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: "The images that we're seeing in and around Kabul are the tip of the iceberg. In Afghanistan at the moment, remote communities are being cut off by snow, bad weather and other factors. The scale of the disaster is absolutely huge. It's devastating for the people of Afghanistan. This is why we need to help, now."

Appeal reaches £30 million as aid effort scales up

A food aid distribution in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan Crisis Appeal has now reached £30 million, including £10 million matched by the UK Government, thanks to the generous response of the British public.

The DEC's model allows donations to be released quickly, and within days of the launch of the appeal DEC charities were able to start spending funds raised. DEC member charities are distributing emergency food rations while mobile teams have been deployed to screen children for malnutrition and provide treatment. Cash grants are helping people buy stoves and a three-month supply of firewood and agencies are supplying winter clothing for families to stay warm.

But with 8 million people one step away from famine, there is much more to do. If you can, please donate today or help spread the word with our social media toolkit.

Jodie Whittaker: Hunger in Afghanistan is hitting women and girls hardest

"I have been supporting ActionAid’s work in Afghanistan for nearly 10 years, and in all that time I have never seen the country in such a critical condition," writes Dr Who actor Jodie Whittaker in The Times today.

"We know that in times of crisis, it is women and girls who are most affected," she adds, calling on people to support the DEC's Afghanistan Crisis Appeal to ensure our member charities can scale up their work before winter sets in and makes areas difficult to access.

What the hunger crisis looks like for Kabul's children

This powerful report from the BBC's Secunder Kermani gives a glimpse of what the hunger crisis looks like for children in Kabul. Instead of attending school, these boys are out working to buy bread for their lunch. If there's no work, they don't eat.

"When my dad stopped working, then I stopped going to school to earn some money," says 13-year-old Pervez. It's estimated that 95% of Afghans don't have enough to eat, and children are being badly hit. Three million children under five are predicted to suffer acute malnutrition this winter, with one million of these at risk of dying.

DEC charities are using funds from this appeal to provide emergency nutrition support for young children, and emergency food rations or cash to buy food to families so that children like Pervez get enough to eat and don't have to leave school to do sometimes dangerous work.

What your donations mean for aid workers on the ground

Your donations are already being used by DEC charities in Afghanistan. Here's a message from Kristiana Marton from Save the Children on what the funding means for them.

An appeal by actor Bronagh Waugh

“Children are dying today, and a million more are at risk of dying over the next three months. Each one of them a son, a daughter, a precious life, ” - Bronagh Waugh, actor.

DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal raises £17.5 million in five days, as HRH The Prince of Wales offers support

Our Afghanistan Crisis Appeal has raised £17.5 million in five days, thanks to the generous support of the British public and the UK Government Aid Match. High profile supporters are urging the public to donate and today HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of DEC charity International Rescue Committee UK, also offered his support. He said:

“The situation in Afghanistan is truly catastrophic. More than half the population will face acute hunger and freezing temperatures this Winter, including 1 million children under five who could die unless they receive immediate treatment for malnutrition.  

“This is why I am so grateful that some of the world’s biggest charities have come together to launch an emergency appeal to support people in Afghanistan. 

“I am proud to support this collective effort to provide the people of Afghanistan with emergency food, nutritional support for children and Winter kits to help them stay warm. The International Rescue Committee has been on the ground in Afghanistan for thirty years and despite everything, they are increasing their efforts to reach those most in need.”  

The UK Government will match pound-for-pound the first £10 million donated by the public to this appeal, to make donations go even further and help DEC charities reach more people in need.  

DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal raises £9.5 million in first 24 hours

Our appeal to help desperate families in Afghanistan facing extreme hunger this winter has raised £9.5 million in its first 24 hours. High profile supporters including Gillian Anderson have called on the public to act quickly so that urgent humanitarian aid can reach those who need it most.  

Urgent appeals to fund life-saving food, clean water and shelter were broadcast on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky yesterday, presented by actor Gillian Anderson and presenter JJ Chalmers, with actor Lenora Crichlow voicing radio appeals on commercial stations nationwide. 

The money raised will help DEC charities and their local partners to provide emergency food and nutrition support for children, support healthcare facilities and provide winter kits to help displaced families stay warm. Other priorities include supplying clean drinking water and protecting women and girls. 

The UK Government announced it will match pound-for-pound the first £10 million donated by the public to this appeal, to make donations go even further and help DEC charities reach more people in need. 

ITN Afghanistan Crisis Appeal broadcast

This appeal with Gillian Anderson was broadcast on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky after the news on 15 December 2021.

“Currently, women and girls in Afghanistan are going through pregnancy and labour in unimaginable conditions without a home or enough food to eat, and with the healthcare system falling apart. Hospitals are having to close due to a lack of supplies and medics. Newborn babies are already dying from malnutrition. DEC member charities are working on the ground in Afghanistan to help. Please donate what you can to give lifesaving help this winter” - Gillian Anderson. 

BBC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal broadcast

This appeal with JJ Chalmers was broadcast after the six and ten o'clock news on BBC One on 15 December 2021.

DEC launches Afghanistan Crisis Appeal with eight million at risk of starvation

DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal advert featuring baby Habib being checked for malnutrition.

The DEC has launched an urgent appeal to help save lives as the humanitarian crisis intensifies in Afghanistan, where eight million people are on the brink of starvation. Appeals are being broadcast on 15 December 2021 to national audiences after the news on BBC TV and radio channels, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.

Conflict and economic collapse, coupled with the worst drought in 27 years and the Covid-19 pandemic, have brought Afghanistan to a tipping point. 22 million face acute hunger and one million children are at risk of dying in the next three months. Lives are already being lost. 

The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to call on the British public to help people in times of crisis overseas.

Speaking at the launch of the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal, Saleh Saeed, the DEC’s Chief Executive, said the situation is ‘beyond horrific.’ With snow falling in Kabul and the cold about to set in to block off supply routes, aid workers say there is an urgency to save lives.