Afghans in Kabul are this week under total Taliban rule after the terrorist organisation stormed the country’s capital on Sunday in the absence of western armed forces.
The Taliban swept into Kabul unopposed and seized the presidential palace after the government in Afghanistan collapsed, and their US-backed president had fled, bringing a swift end to almost two decades of British and US protection in the region.
Many Afghans are now fearing for their lives as they face the realisation that a brutal regime is about to be actioned by Taliban leaders and their foot soldiers.
In the last 24 hours, videos and images of locals attempting to flee the country have circulated on social media – with much of this content being too graphic, or distressing, to show or even put into words.
Currently, the UK and US governments are scrambling to evacuate their own nationals, while hundreds of thousands of Afghans are either stranded or attempting to flee their homeland, putting their lives at risk in the process.
If what is happening is affecting you and you want to help, here are numerous charities and causes you can support to help in Afghanistan:
International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee is a not-for-profit organisation helps those facing the worst humanitarian crises. They estimate more than 18 million people need aid this year in Afghanistan and have been doing exactly that since 1988.
In the last few days, the charity has urged world leaders to show support for civilians and humanitarian workers delivering aid – and have launched a £10 million appeal to raise funds so that their teams can deliver life-saving aid and provide emergency cash and protection for those displaced.
The one-off donations tell you what your money could go towards, including £40 to provide four tents for those displaced.
Mercy Corps is an active charity in over 40 countries worldwide. They work with people living in poverty, disaster and in the midst of violent conflict, and have been working in Afghanistan since the mid-1980s. They are currently urging the US government to continue aiding humanitarian work.
The charity is currently working to provide clean water and sanitation for those fleeing Kabul, and will stay in Afghanistan as long as they possibly can.
Turquoise Mountain, set up by the Prince of Wales in Scotland back in 2006, is a charity focused on training artisans in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Jordan with an aim of reviving historic areas and traditional crafts.
The foundation, which works to protect heritage and communities at risk around the world, has been treating thousands of patients at its health clinic in Kabul. Over the weekend, a Crowdfunder campaign has been set up to raise money for their artists, staff, students and all those who visit their health clinic.
Women for Afghan Women, also known as WAW, is the largest non-government Afghan women’s rights organization in the world, founded in April 2001. It is dedicated to protecting the rights of Afghan women and girls. The staff are mostly Afghans and WAW adopts a community-based approach.
Women and girls are said to be those who will be affected most by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Before the conflict in the last week, the charity provided education to boys and girls and provided family counselling and vocational training for women and families.
However, in the last few weeks, they have been working to keep their clients, staff and families safe by evacuating shelters and providing resources and aid to women and their families.
Afghan Aid is responding with emergency assistance where needed and supporting families who have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the conflict.
Islamic relief: Afghanistan is assisting families forced to flee their homes as Afghanistan sits on the brink of famine. This June, Afghanistan officially fell into drought, making rough conditions even worse.
Enabled Children Initiative runs Window of Hope private care home in Kabul, which provides care to Afghan children and youths with disabilities from around the country
Write to your MP and use social media
If you can’t afford to donate, you can still enact change by writing to your MP. You can also use your social media profiles to call on the UK gov to reverse aid cuts, increase funding, push for a ceasefire, and welcome Afghan refugees.
Shane MacGowan’s wife shares heartbreaking statement after The Pogues singer dies aged 65
Shane MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, has shared a truly heartbreaking statement on social media after confirming that The Pogues frontman has sadly died aged 65.
After a prolonged period of ill health and months spent in critical care following an infection and an encephalitis diagnosis, a condition that causes the swelling of the brain, the Irish author and writer announced his passing on Thursday, 30 November.
“Shane who will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel and the sun and the moon and the start and end of everything that I hold dear has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese.
“I am blessed beyond words to have met him and to have loved him and to have been so endlessly and unconditionally loved by him and to have had so many years of life and love and joy and fun and laughter and so many adventures.
“There’s no way to describe the loss that I am feeling and the longing for just one more of his smiles that lit up my world. Thank you thank you thank you thank you for your presence in this world you made it so very bright and you gave so much joy to so many people with your heart and soul and your music.
“You will live in my heart forever. Rave on in the garden all wet with rain that you loved so much. You meant the world to me.
With tributes pouring in online for the man behind everyone’s favourite, ‘Fairytale of New York’, The Independent described him as a “shy and complex genius“.
The Irish folk-punk icon’s struggles with addiction and his health are well-documented and was admitted to a hospital in Dublin earlier this year.
As a name synonymous with classic festive tunes and Christmas in general, there’s no doubt his beloved song with Kirsty MacColl will go straight to number one this holiday season and be turned up to full volume in homes all across the UK.
The UK could be at risk of a roast potato shortage this Christmas
Ok, we don’t mean to alarm you but, according to the latest reports, Christmas dinner plates could be at risk of scrimping on a major component as there is a threat of a roast potato shortage this holiday season.
Please, for the love of all things holy and festive, no — we’ll do anything to protect our roasties and gravy.
While there’s often talk of supermarket shortages and supply problems when it comes to the busiest time of year, it seems that the Great British potato-loving people might genuinely have to cut back on the amount of roast spuds we intend to eat over the next few months due to recent storms.
Following what has already gone down as one of the toughest harvests on record, the yield of potato crops has been hit hard by the ‘Autumn washout’, with fields being waterlogged by the likes of Storm Babet, Ciarán, Debi and more, meaning that farmers have been unable to harvest lots of their produce.
Farmer James Lacey explained how there is around £200,000 worth of potatoes that he and his team simply can’t harvest and that they are struggling to hold on to those already pulled out, as even such sturdy vegetables as potatoes just “don’t like this kind of weather and aren’t storing very well”.
This is just the story of one farmer’s plot of land too; unfortunately, current figures project that roughly 20% of this autumn’s potato crop has been flooded and will likely be unsalvageable, with the majority of rotting spuds only fit for animal feed.
Although the figures are still unclear, it is estimated that the latest potato crop is tipped for a record low of 4.1 million tonnes — for context, on average and in their various forms, Brits eat around 250m potatoes at Christmas every year.
Sadly, it doesn’t stop there either as due to the almost unprecedented rainfall over the last few months and back-to-back storms, combined with the increasingly frosty conditions now creeping across the UK, the likes of broccoli, carrots, parsnips and more are all under threat.
As a result, retailers are already being forced to supplement their supplies from cold storage which, obviously, isn’t endless.
With shortages of different vegetables increasing week upon week and as well as the impact it is having in restaurants already, the knock-on effect it may have on supermarkets with people raiding the freezers to get frozen roasties at the ready just in case could be massive.
The recent miserable weather isn’t getting any better either as the North West is one of many regions that has been hit by a cold snap this week, with the Met Office and UKHSA issuing an amber health alert.