Peace Direct launches solidarity fund to keep hope alive in Afghanistan

Peace Direct launches solidarity fund to keep hope alive in Afghanistan

Illustration by Ghazal Farkhari @rasmorawaj

We have just launched a Solidarity Fund to support peacebuilding and women’s rights organisations in Afghanistan in response to the growing crisis in the country. 

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:

“When the world left Afghan civil society in chaos with no access to financial resources to continue their operations, Peace Direct stepped in. 

Community based structures are weakening as people have lost hope and resilience. Most families have consumed their savings and if they are not supported soon, Afghans will see a humanitarian crisis as winter begins. The most critical needs now are food supplies, access to health and employment services and support to prevent malnutrition amongst children and pregnant women.”

Peace Direct’s Chief Executive, Dylan Mathews, said: 

“The growing crisis in Afghanistan has highlighted the urgent need to support local groups, including women’s rights organizations and peace committees that are on the front line of community responses to the challenges facing the country. 

 These organisations are simply not recognised for the life saving work that they do, despite often being the first to respond. Afghan civil society is the lifeblood of the country and it must be supported now.”

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. 

For anyone wishing to contribute, click below.

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You can also contact us at [email protected] 

~ ENDS


Editor’s Notes

For media enquiries, image and interview requests, please contact Rachel Samuel [email protected] or on +(0)7399 447705.

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