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Why do older people in Afghanistan need my support? Where will my money go? And other questions.

We are raising funds so we can deliver life-saving aid to older people in Afghanistan before the harsh winter sets in. We understand that people want to ensure that their generous donations are being used in the best way possible and so we hope that this will answer some of your questions.

What is the situation in Afghanistan and why do older people need our support?

The people of Afghanistan have already lived through 40 years of war, conflict and economic crisis. However, since the summer of 2021, the situation has significantly deteriorated. Economic collapse, widespread food shortages, coupled with the worst drought the country has seen in almost 30 years have led to 95% of people going hungry with acute levels of malnutrition across the country. 

From our initial assessment of the situation we know that the crisis is having a disproportionate effect on older people as they are more vulnerable to both the effects of the cold and malnutrition and may otherwise be forgotten in the scramble to deliver aid. 

How is Age International responding? 

We are working with a partner organisation, Humanity and Inclusion, to deliver urgent support to older people in Afghanistan. 

Together we are assessing the most urgent needs of older people, including those with disabilities and their carers, and are developing an emergency relief cash assistance programme that will enable older people and their families to buy exactly what they need to help them through the winter. 

The cash assistance will allow older people and their families to buy lifesaving essentials that could include: 

- Food to ensure that they don’t go hungry this winter
- Clean water and other sanitation items to help protect against infectious diseases,  including COVID-19
- Improved shelter and fuel to protect against the cold
- Essential medicines that older people may need   

Why give people cash instead of food and warm clothes?   

Giving cash puts the choice - and the control - into the hands of the older people we are supporting and is one of the most effective ways to help as it allows them to buy exactly what they need. Older people often have specific nutritional, medical or cultural needs which are not met through the usual aid distribution programmes. For example, they may need food that can be easily chewed and digested or medicines to treat healthcare conditions they may have.  

Cash is also one of the quickest ways to get essential items to the people who need them; it is much faster to move supplies from village to village, than it is to move them half-way around the world via closed airports and blocked roads. 

Finally, sourcing essential items locally helps not only the older person who needs essential items, but helps to contribute to the local economy in turn helping other families and community members to earn a living.  

Age International is raising funds as part of a DEC appeal but what is the DEC and where will my money go? 

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is a consortium of 15 humanitarian aid member charities, including Age International, who work together in times of disasters and emergencies. 

The member charities are all experts in delivering humanitarian aid and specialise in different areas of disaster response. Working together at times of crisis ensures that fundraising appeals are more effective and the response to the disaster more efficient and co-ordinated across agencies. 

We are a member charity of the DEC. During an appeal, member agencies will each carry out their own fundraising to their own supporters and the wider public so any money donated to Age International will go directly to our work supporting older people in Afghanistan

The DEC has also launched a fundraising appeal. The DEC does not run its own aid programmes so donations to the DEC’s Afghanistan Crisis Appeal will be split between the member agencies over the coming months to carry out their aid programmes in Afghanistan. 

Donating to Age International directly will ensure that the money helps older people specifically, whereas a donation to the DEC appeal will go towards a wide range of different programmes and projects. 

How do I know my money will go to the people who need it? 

By donating you will be helping older people and their families in desperate need of food, shelter and healthcare. 

We will be using appeal funds to distribute aid to older people based on the most pressing needs. Our in-country partner, Humanity and Inclusion, has access locally to ensure they can get aid to the people who need it most, without interference from the authorities. They have worked in Afghanistan for decades and have built up strong local connections with the community, religious leaders, and elders. These relationships will help ensure aid reaches intended recipients. 

Afghanistan Crisis Appeal

Help provide life-saving support to older people in Afghanistan this winter.

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Last updated: Dec 15 2021

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