Nearly four months since the Taliban seized power and the United States pulled its troops from Afghanistan, the country is facing numerous humanitarian crises, including a critical food shortage that some aid groups say could kill a million Afghan children this winter.
The New York Times reported this week that an estimated 22.8 million people — more than half the country’s population — are expected to face potentially life-threatening food insecurity. According to an analysis by the United Nations World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Organization, 8.7 million people are nearing famine — putting Afghanistan on the brink of a mass starvation. And children are among the most vulnerable.
The crisis has been triggered in part by an economic collapse since the Taliban takeover, as U.S. sanctions against the militant group have isolated the country and made it harder for international relief organizations to deliver aid.
At the same time, Afghanistan’s health care system is on the edge of collapse, with more than $600 million in health care aid frozen after the Taliban swept into Kabul.
There are, however, several ways to help. In October, the United States issued two general licenses, clearing the way to allow the U.S. government and certain international organizations, like the U.N., to engage with the Taliban to provide humanitarian assistance.
How to help
Below is a list of some of those organizations, along with links to donate.
• The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which is seeking $38 million to fund health care and other emergency services across Afghanistan >>>
More images from Paula Bronstein’s coverage of this ongoing crisis:
Afghans wait in long lines at a World Food Program distribution site in Kabul.
Crowds wait to be seen by medical staff in the outpatient department of Indira Ghandi Children’s Hospital in Kabul.
Young patients are treated at the Indira Ghandi Children’s Hospital in Kabul. Critical funding for the Afghan public health system from the World Bank, along with IMF support, was cut in August over concerns about Taliban restrictions on women. Hospitals nationwide are now running out of drugs, and staff are working unpaid.