How Philanthropists Can Provide Immediate Aid to Afghanistan and Afghan Refugees

Author Joan Allmaras, Philanthropic Services Specialist

August 27, 2021

Since the government in Afghanistan fell to the Taliban earlier this month, scenes of chaos and confusion have captured the world’s attention. Decades of conflict have resulted in a dire situation in Afghanistan: extreme poverty, millions of citizens displaced, and crumbling infrastructure. Many people have been moved to ask what they can do to help.

Unlike a natural disaster, where philanthropic capital can provide immediate and flexible relief, a political, military and humanitarian crisis of this magnitude requires a more calculated response. Many large, international organizations have evacuated their staff from Afghanistan, and others face dangerous risks if they continue operations. For refugees and others fleeing for safety, their lives are at the mercy of varied, time-consuming and often restrictive immigration policies.

However, philanthropists can help to address urgent and evolving humanitarian needs in Afghanistan for organizations that do remain in the country or are actively helping refugees.

The non-exhaustive list below is provided as a resource. When recommending a grant, please indicate “Afghanistan Relief” as the purpose of your grant to ensure that the organization correctly designates your gift. We strongly encourage donors to research all charities prior to entering a grant recommendation to ensure they are still working in Afghanistan or for refugees, as the situation is changing rapidly.

Doctors Without Borders USA (EIN 13-3433452)

Doctors Without Borders has been working in Afghanistan for years, operating a maternity hospital, COVID-19 treatment center, tuberculosis clinic and trauma center, in addition to supporting local hospitals and clinics. The organization has not evacuated any staff, who have continued to provide medical care throughout intense fighting.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) (EIN 13-5660870)

IRC has been working in Afghanistan since 1988 and has committed to remain in the country as long as possible. In addition, IRC’s local offices in the United States are actively working to support newly arrived refugees settle into their new homes and communities.

Islamic Relief USA (EIN 95-4453134)

Islamic Relief has been providing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan for more than 20 years. Currently, the organization is working to distribute food, shelter, cooking utensils, hygiene kits and cleaning supplies to internally displaced individuals and families.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (EIN 13-1878704)

USCRI has established the Afghanistan Assistance Fund to help refugees rebuild their lives in the United States. In addition, USCRI has several resources on their website to assist refugees and others fleeing Afghanistan to navigate the US State Department’s visa and immigration systems.

Joan Allmaras is a Philanthropic Services Specialist at NPT. She produces tailored, in-depth research on specific issues and geographic areas of interest to NPT’s donors. Ms. Allmaras holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

NPT is not affiliated with any of the organizations described herein, and the inclusion of any organization in this material should not be considered an endorsement by NPT of such organization, or its services or products.

NPT does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained here may vary depending on individual circumstances.