published in Emergency on August 18, 2021

Afghanistan Crisis

Who knows what lies ahead for the people of Afghanistan? What’s certain is your kindness and care is critical now!

You can continue to help the people of Afghanistan, especially girls and women, by donating here


UPDATE 9: 23 June 2022

  • Devastating earthquake in Afghanistan, south-west of Khost in the eastern province of Paktika
  • Close to your ALWS work with women and girls in Nangarhar, as you can see from the map below:

No reports at this stage from the team you support about whether any of the people you help have been affected. (Communications, even in the best of times, are challenging.)

What we do know from news reports is:

  • 9 magnitude quake
  • epicentre close to Khost
  • estimated at least 1,000 people killed
  • thousands injured
  • 1,800 homes destroyed
  • people desperate for food

The ruling Taliban have called on the international community for help.

ALWS is not in position to provide emergency earthquake aid at this time …

… but you can support our existing action for girls and women in the region by donating to Children of War.

This practical help takes the form of Multi-Purpose Cash Grants.

This enables people to buy what they need most – especially during the freezing cold of winter, and in the lean season between harvests.


UPDATE 8: 8 June 2022

Through ALWS, you provide vital care to the people of Afghanistan – both inside Afghanistan, and to families who have made it safely to Pakistan.

Our ALWS partner, through ACT Alliance, reports:



525 families (3,780 people) received
3 x Multi-Purpose Cash Grants
plus Winterisation support:




With disability


With disability

Without disability

40 1,935 75 1,730


This support was critical from November to March, which is known as the Lean Season. 95% of families had insufficient food consumption and food security.

Acute malnutrition is spiking, and front-line workers report it is challenging to identify the ‘most needy’ as ‘everyone’ is the most needy.

5,108 people benefitted from transfers
for health services in Nangarkar:




With disability


With disability

Without disability

118 2,488 112 2,390


Note the priority to make sure people with a disability are not forgotten.

Note too the high proportion of females assisted at a time when conditions inside Afghanistan are extremely challenging for girls and women.

710 families in Laghman have been selected for the next round of Multi-Purpose Cash Grants.



253 families (1,033 people) received
3 x Multi-Purpose Cash Grants
plus Winterisation support:




With disability


With disability

Without disability

28 548 17 442


The focus areas are:

  • Rawalpindi
  • Islamabad
  • Peshawar District





UPDATE 7: 4 April 2022

 Your ALWS support for the people of Afghanistan is delivered by an in-country partner through the ACT Alliance of churches worldwide.


Millions of families continue to face hunger, the impact of a multi-year drought and the harshness of winter. This was made worse by an economic crash following the change of governance in August 2021.

It’s estimated half the Afghan population have insufficient food, and lack winter gear.


In February 2022, the partner you support provided financial assistance to 525 families. Each family received the first tranche of $120 to purchase food, and a further $75 to buy clothes for winter.

Each family receives a further $120 per month in March and April.


The father of one of the families helped, Sabir (name changed for security), shared:

“My family and I are financially supported by my relatives and neighbours. Since they are all struggling to make ends meet, they cannot always support our family.

The assistance provided to me under this project will not only allow me to buy food for my family, but it will also give me a sense of relief.

I want to buy some blankets and supplies for home to keep my children warm and healthy throughout the severe winters.”


The cash support is distributed as follows:

  • the partner uses a private bank to distribute funds on its behalf
  • rights-holders register with the bank
  • each distribution subjected to banking verification
  • cash distributed


Jaabir (name changed for security) has five young daughters.

His wife died during the birth of their last child. Since then, Jabiir has lost his sight to a visual impairment.

“I used to work as a farmer, and took care of the eight sheep we had as livestock.

Unfortunately, I was unable to work after I lost my eyesight.”


When Jabiir lost his vision, his daughters were no longer able to attend school. Instead, they collect shrubs, wood and animal excrement to use as fuel for fires to try to keep the family warm through winter.


When conflict came in August 2021, Jaabir and the family were trapped.

“Our family stayed behind as we did not have another place to go to, nor could we afford to travel. We had nowhere to seek refuge. The village was empty.

No one could help us as they too were in chaos, and struggling to reach safety, and survive during this difficult time. I met many sleepless nights as I feared an attack in the middle of the night.

I was the only grown adult left in the village to protect my family and give hope to my daughters to stay strong and brave.”


Jaabir’s is the kind of family you support in Afghanistan through ALWS, and our in-country partner through ACT Alliance. Thank you.


NB: ALWS has chosen not to show photos of Jaabir and his daughters, in order to protect their safety.


ACT Alliance logo



UPDATE 6: Wednesday 20 October

At this critical time, it is vital the people of Afghanistan are not forgotten.

The G20 Special Summit, convened in early October, unanimously identified the need for ongoing assistance to the people of Afghanistan, particularly with winter fast approaching.

Average winter temperatures in Afghanistan are -1 C. At night, temperatures can drop to -25 C. 80% of internally-displaced people have inadequate sources of heating.

Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, who hosted the G20 Special Summit, declared:

“There has basically been a convergence of views

on the need to address the humanitarian emergency.”


Through ALWS, and an ACT Alliance partner, you are part of a planned 8 months emergency response by churches of many denominations from around the world.

The ALWS planned commitment is $75,000, to be used where it is needed most in response to the Afghanistan crisis. This includes people internally displaced inside Afghanistan, not forgetting people who have fled to neighbouring Pakistan, and host communities.

Your ALWS help is delivered by an on-ground partner with decades of experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who report all their offices are operational.


Who you help

In crises like this, the people who often are most vulnerable include:

  • children
  • women
  • the elderly
  • people with disabilities

Critical care is also needed for people who have fled as refugees to neighbouring Pakistan.

Here, the communities hosting them are often people who have themselves fled Afghanistan earlier as refugees, and whose resources are already limited before they start caring for their country-people.


Food for the hungry

Severe drought has reduced Afghanistan’s wheat crop by 2 million tonnes, and 3 million livestock are in danger of death from lack of fodder and water.

The drought, along with the other challenges in Afghanistan, has left 12.2 million people (1/3 of the population) in Acute Food Insecurity.

Experience shows that cash grants are an effective way of enabling families to buy the food they decide they need most, while also strengthening the local economy.

Support may be needed for 6 months to see a family through until the next harvest.

Aid agencies aim to provide support for food that delivers 2,100 kilo-calories per person per day. For a family of 7, either in Afghanistan or as refugees in Pakistan, this requires a grant of around $120AUD per family per month.


Winter Kits

Given the freezing cold of winter in Afghanistan, and the areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, families in most danger include:

  • drought-affected families
  • families forced to live in open spaces or in damaged or makeshift shelters
  • low income families, the elderly, women-headed households

One-off cash grants (around $450 per family) can support them to purchase:

  • blankets
  • quilts
  • mattresses
  • pillows
  • plastic sheets
  • warm clothes



 The ACT Alliance plan you are part of through ALWS, highlights:

‘Involvement and meaningful participation of women

in every stage of the project cycle

will be ensured up to the possible extent.’



UPDATE 5: Friday 17 September

As people in Afghanistan flee their homes in fear, they must leave everything behind, and require support with even their most basic needs – like water.    
Photo: ACT Alliance


Our ALWS church partners, through ACT Alliance, are providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Afghan crisis, including cash transfers for uprooted families in Kabul.

Our partners are supporting both ongoing education programming for girls, as well as emergency response.

As you would understand, there are many complexities to be worked through, so prayer support is highly valued.

If prayer is part of your personal ministry, please pray for:

  • safe avenues be opened to reach people most affected by Afghanistan crisis
  • frontline staff working directly with people in danger
  • the hearts of leaders to be opened, so that all may work together for the good of the people of Afghanistan – especially the most vulnerable


UPDATE 4: Friday 27 August

Terrorist attacks at the Kabul international airport have left 170 people dead and 150 people injured (Updated 30.8.21. Source: New York Times).

Action Plan for your ALWS help for Afghanistan received in last 48 hours from one of our ACT Alliance partners. 

The on-ground partner has decades of experience working in Afghanistan.


Working together through them, and with other partners:


    • 660 households
    • displaced from their homes
    • 4,620 people


    • women
    • elderly-headed households
    • widows
    • orphans
    • people with disabilities


    • Kabul City
    • many people are living in tents
    • others staying with family and friends already poor


    • one-off cash grant of $125 ($USD 90)
    • based on meeting needs of family of 7 for 30 days
    • families use this money to buy food and other household essentials
    • cash grant means they can buy what they decide they need most
    • this method of aid respects people’s dignity
    • the local economy is also supported

Time-frame Plan:

    • 25 August to 25 October


    • security situation
    • 40% of crops lost to drought (WFP)
    • one in 3 families face food insecurity (UN)
    • bitter winter is approaching fast


Donate online now

Or call 1300 763 407


UPDATE 3: Monday 23 August

ALWS has received communication from the partners we plan to work through in Afghanistan.

For security reasons, they have asked that details of their plans be kept confidential for now, along with the names of the partners. The photos that follow come from the front line …

Here you see families forced from their homes as IDPs (Internally Displaced People). They come from Hiland, Kundoz and Orizgan provinces.        

Photo: ACT Alliance / CWS Asia


The plan for your ALWS help is to join with churches from around the world through ACT Alliance, to help 50,000 families both within and outside Afghanistan.

It is clear high priority needs are likely to include:

  • food
  • shelter
  • household essentials
  • health
  • capacity building of local aid workers

Donate now


IDPs are forced to leave everything behind as they flee to safety. Here you see people from Kandahar, Helmand, Orozgan and Kundoz provinces.        

Photo: ACT Alliance / CWS Asia


Extensive consultations will be needed with local community leadership, to support security and effectiveness of aid-delivery teams.

The partners ALWS plans to work through have 30 years of experience serving in Afghanistan.


It’s vital the world does not forget the needs of people left behind in the Afghanistan crisis, like these IDPs in Saray. Girls and women are terrified of the uncertain future they face. You can imagine how confused children must be about what has happened to life.

Photo: ACT Alliance / CWS Asia


Donate now 



  • Girls and women in Afghanistan – so fearful of what the future may hold
  • The elderly, sick, people with disabilities, children – the most vulnerable who are at risk of being forgotten in crises like this
  • Frontline aid workers – safety, and wisdom in dealing with difficult situations
  • Taliban leadership – that their hearts be moved, to lead the country with care and compassion
  • Military and civil forces who served in Afghanistan – comfort that their efforts weren’t in vain
  • Families who lost loved ones serving in Afghanistan – comfort
  • Australian Government – to be generous in rescuing and welcoming those at risk
  • Government leaders of all countries involved – wisdom, compassion, vision, generosity, grace

UPDATE 2: Friday 20 August

Your ALWS action is directed through ACT Alliance – churches from around the world, of many denominations, coming together to help people in need.



ACT Alliance reports the people of Afghanistan face ongoing challenges alongside the current crisis:

 390,000 people newly displaced since start of 2021

  • more than 1.5 million people forced back to Afghanistan from neighbouring Iran and Pakistan because of COVID-19 pandemic
  • total Internally Displaced People (IDPs): more than 4 million
  • civilian casualties increased by 47% in first half of 2021 compared to same period in 2020 (UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan)
  • victims of crossfire, Improvised Explosive Devices, bombings, assassinations
  • 46% of casualties were women and children
  • on 22 June, 30% of country declared a severe drought
  • wheat crop reduced by 2 million tonnes
  • 3 million livestock at risk of death
  • COVID-19: deaths – 7,025; cases – 152,142, from 3 January – 16 August (WHO)



Most ACT members in Afghanistan have worked there more than 30 years, and have strong deeply-rooted relationships with affected communities.

Action currently planned aims to:

  • focus on 50,000 families
  • forced from their homes
  • in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries

Priority action includes:

  • extensive consultations with local community leadership (support security and effectiveness of aid-delivery teams)
  • food
  • shelter
  • household essentials
  • health
  • capacity building of local aid workers

Thank you for reading this update. It shows how deeply you care about the people of Afghanistan. If you wish to add a donation to your thoughts and prayers, donate here

SOURCE: ACT Alliance Alert – Bangkok, 18 August 2021

UPDATE 1: Wednesday 18 August 2021

As you’d understand, it is extremely challenging to take practical action to help people affected by the rapidly-evolving crisis in Afghanistan.

For now, this is what ALWS is doing on your behalf:



ALWS is working to join with church partners both here in Australia, and around the world, planning to provide help when able to those in danger from the Afghanistan crisis.

Our expectation is that help will be needed now, and in the months ahead when the situation becomes clearer. Action is likely to be required both within Afghanistan, and outside for people who feel forced to flee.

In crises like these, plans change and evolve according to the needs identified as local partners assess the on-the-ground situation.

Plans will be updated here as they become available. Previous experience in humanitarian crises indicate likely needs are for:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Household essentials

These may be required for both those forced to flee as refugees, and people remaining in Afghanistan.

ALWS recognises that girls and women may be at heightened risk, and that other vulnerable groups – the sick, the elderly, people with disabilities, may need special care.


Donate now



ALWS is supporting efforts of the Refugee Council of Australia to advocate to the Australian Parliament about rescuing those in immediate danger from the Afghanistan crisis.

Click here to see the letter ALWS has signed, along with 300 other organisations, including Lutheran Church Australia.



You help with practical care:

Your donation will help people in danger from the Afghanistan crisis, and will be used to support emergency and recovery efforts to protect people and support them to build better and safer lives. Any money raised beyond what is needed to respond to the Afghanistan crisis will be used in other ALWS aid and development projects to help people hurt by disaster, poverty and injustice.

Information in this communication is based on data correct at time of writing, and may change. Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, or to promote a candidate or organisation affiliated to a particular party, or to support welfare activities as defined by DFAT. For more information, call: 1300 763 407




ACNC Registered Charity Tick


Skip to content