A major appeal is being launched by leading UK aid agencies to try and prevent the deaths of millions of children in Afghanistan.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Afghanistan Crisis Appeal will raise funds for member charities to urgently respond to conflict, economic collapse, drought, famine and Covid-19 in the country.
DEC charities, including the International Rescue Committee UK, British Red Cross, Save the Children and CAFOD, have warned Afghanistan, which was taken over by the Taliban in August, is heading for catastrophe.
The group has said that without ‘fast’ action eight million children are at risk of starvation, one million of whom are under four.
The perilous situation Afghanistan finds itself in has been worsened by the pandemic, conflict and the worst drought the country has experienced in 27-years.
The appeal, which will be broadcast on television and radio from today, will raise money to pay for essentials such as emergency food and nutrition for children, support for healthcare facilities and winter kits to help families stay warm.
It is said a £10 donation can provide treatment to a child suffering from malnutrition for three weeks while £20 can feed a family for a week.
A donation of up to £100 could provide emergency food to a family for three months.
Donations from the public will be matched pound-for-pound by the UK Government – up to a total of £10 million.
Saleh Saeed, DEC chief executive, said: ‘We can’t just sit back and let that happen. We must act fast to reach them with the food they so badly need.
‘Our members are on the ground and already helping but we urgently need to scale this work up to reach many more in need. People are starving – eight million are on the brink of famine.
‘We’re urging people to donate to help families feed their children, protect themselves against freezing temperatures and to provide vital medical supplies to deal with malnutrition, hypothermia and acute respiratory infections, otherwise many young children will simply not survive the coming months.
‘Thanks to the UK Government, donations from the public will be doubled up to £10 million.’
To make a donation to the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal visit Home, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610 or send a cheque.
To donate £10 text SUPPORT to 70150.
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