Australians have donated more than a million dollars to help the work of the Red Cross in Afghanistan, where assistance includes providing money to keep female-led households alive amid Taliban rule.
Australian Red Cross Head of International Humanitarian Programs Adrian Prouse said Afghanistan was experiencing a “man-made catastrophe”.
“Essential services are on the brink of collapse and the people of Afghanistan, in particular the women and children, are bearing the brunt of harsh international policies that have placed the country into economic free fall,” Prouse said.
He thanked the Australian public who had donated more than one million dollars to the organisation, which had seen a 30 percent increase in the need for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan since August 2021.
Australian Red Cross has called on the Federal government to expedite the remainder of its $100 million commitment in aid to Afghanistan and increase humanitarian assistance to the country.
The organisation is working with its partner, the International Committee of the Red Cross whose teams on the ground are providing cash payments to help female-headed households pay for food and essential household items; delivering fuel to hospitals, clinics, and water stations to ensure power supply and safe drinking water.
Head of Mission for ICRC Canberra David Tuck said the organisation was determined to continue supporting Afghans who have been thrown into abject poverty.
“Decades of conflict and violence are the baseline for most Afghans,” Tuck said.
“Not only are they dealing with the upheaval and loss that this has caused, but the new and urgent threats to their lives and livelihoods are fuelled by the economic and food crises gripping the country.”
Australian Red Cross has also called on the government to boost its intake of refugees from Afghanistan by 20,000.
The government announced last month it would allocate 15,000 humanitarian and family visa places to Afghan nationals over the next four years.
The Taliban surged back to power in Afghanistan in September 2021 after two decades of fighting U.S.-led coalition forces.