As Afghanistan faces a growing humanitarian crisis in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the nation, rescue and aid organizations are working to meet rising demand, and ensure that refugees are able to escape from the more restrictive militant regime.
Recognizing the need for assistance, Facebook has today pledged $3 million in funding for organizations working to assist Afghan citizens, in various ways.
As explained by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:
“According to the International Rescue Committee, over 18 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian aid, and nearly half a million Afghans will flee the country by the end of the year. Protecting people in Afghanistan from harm is so important – and so challenging – during this crisis. I am awestruck by the resilience and courage of the Afghan women who protested in Kabul and Herat, demanding equal rights. At the same time, we hear heartbreaking stories about women and girls burning evidence of their careers and education. Journalists, activists, educators, and their families are now living in fear.”
Sandberg says that Facebook’s donation will contribute to supporting three critical areas:
- Refugee registration and resettlement
- Protection and evacuation of at-risk individuals
- Food, shelter, and health support.
It’s difficult to measure the full scope of the Afghan crisis, in the wake of the US Government’s decision to withdraw troops from the region. Over time, the impacts of the withdrawal process will take shape, but right now, as Sandberg notes, what is clear is that many Afghan people are now living in fear, with the rights that they had been granted under the previous regime now significantly reduced under the strict doctrine of the Taliban.
While ongoing evaluation of its broader societal impact remains a key, an important focus, it is also worth noting that Facebook has donated billions in collective funding to various global causes over the past decade, which has included assistance for people impacted by COVID-19, funding to help address racial inequality and various pledges to assist war-torn regions in their recovery efforts.
There’s much more to come in the evolving Afghan situation, but Facebook’s funding will provide a significant boost on various aid fronts