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The Simple Steps You Can Take Right Now To Help Afghan Refugees

Hundreds of people gather outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.
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Hundreds of people gather outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.

In the days after Taliban forces took control of Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul, thousands have attempted to flee the country.

United Nations groups have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe. Women's rights groups, in particular, are uncertain of what Taliban rule will mean for the future of women and girls.

Afghans who are arriving in the U.S. will be coming to the Washington, D.C., area; Houston and Fort Worth, Texas; and Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.

Here's how you can help them and organizations on the ground in Afghanistan.

Volunteer to help resettled refugees: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is asking for volunteers to help refugees upon arrival with airport pickups, meal assistance, mentorship, tutoring and more. You can participate if you're in one of the areas where refugees are arriving, and there's a standby list to join for other areas too. You can also donate.

Take up a challenge: Women for Women International says a "generous member of our community" will match up to $500,000 in donations for its Afghanistan program.

Open your wallet: Consider donating to Women for Afghan Women, which says it is the largest women's group in Afghanistan; the International Refugee Assistance Project; and the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, which works to protect journalists on the ground.

Email the White House: The International Rescue Committee has an email form through which you can urge the Biden administration to take immediate steps to ensure "vulnerable Afghans have pathways to safety." The group is also asking for donations.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Deepa Shivaram
Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.

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