Afghanistan has been left reeling from the shockwaves of the Taliban’s takeover in August. While the world’s attention was focused on the evacuation efforts, Afghan activists and civil society organisations who remained in the country have faced a ‘perfect storm’ of risks: to their security, freedom, human rights, education and livelihoods.
With international funding for Afghanistan frozen, there is a real risk that Afghan civil society organisations will collapse in the coming months. The withdrawal and lack of funding for those groups who rely on it, will leave women-led, youth organisations and peacebuilding committees and groups highly vulnerable, unstable and unable to support local communities effectively.
The Afghan Solidarity Fund, which Peace Direct hopes to increase to $1 million over the next twelve months, will initially support local networks in 5 provinces. The fund has been set up by Peace Direct in partnership with Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD), a Kabul-based non-profit, non-governmental organisation. It delivers projects to support and empower women and young people in communities across Afghanistan.
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Crucially, EPD also supports local civil society organisations to identify the root causes of the issues they face and builds their capacity to advocate for their human rights and supports locally-led peacebuilding efforts, as well as influencing democratic processes in the country.
Zalmai Hameedi, Acting Executive Director for Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD) said:
Peace Direct’s Chief Executive, Dylan Mathews, said:
Peace Direct is calling for donations and support from individuals and organisations who share their mission to support local communities to end violent conflict and build sustainable peace. The organisation has launched an online appeal to raise more money to support communities in Afghanistan directly over the coming year.
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