Donations to Afghanistan crisis appeal top £50m

Monday, Aug 15, 2022

LONDON: British donations to an Afghanistan crisis appeal have topped £50 million, providing a “lifeline” to hundreds of thousands of people in need.

People have donated £40 million with the Government matching £10 million, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said.

Its Afghanistan Crisis Appeal was launched in December last year to help people facing hunger, cold and a lack of medical care, amid drought and a struggling economy.

The DEC did not say what proportion of the funds have already been distributed.

In the first six months of the appeal, donations provided more than 243,000 people with cash, and more than 131,000 with emergency food supplies.

More than 100,000 have been helped to access health services, including medicine, vaccines and care for mothers and babies. The funds have also helped more than 2,900 children under five and pregnant or lactating women with treatment for malnutrition.

One of those helped is three-year-old Sameem, whose family was plunged into poverty last year after his father lost his job.

His two-year-old brother fell ill last year. The family could not afford transport to hospital or treatment and he died.

Then Sameem developed chest problems during the cold winter months.

“We are always hungry now,” his mother Yasamin said. “Now the children aren’t getting enough food, they are getting sick often and they’re weak.”

Sameem was diagnosed with pneumonia at a weekly clinic run by Save The Children, using DEC funds, and is now receiving treatment.

Yasamin said: “I brought him here last week, and now he’s started to improve.”

Salah Saeed, DEC chief executive, said: “People in Afghanistan suffered a terrible winter and spring with millions struggling to feed their families.

“Donations to the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal have helped provide a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of those most in need, providing food or the money to buy it.

“The funds are also helping provide specialist treatment for children and mothers suffering acute malnutrition.

“They’ve also provided much-needed medical care to at least 100,000 people who had nowhere else to go when they fell ill.

“Thank you so much to everyone who donated to this appeal.

“You have made a huge difference to so many people caught up in a crisis far beyond their control and desperately in need of help.”