Urgent COVID-19 Appeal 2020 was a difficult year for everyone - wherever you live in the world, no life has been left unchanged by the pandemic. But, whilst we are all in this together, it does not effect all of us equally. For Afghan families in extreme poverty, the economic disruption caused by COVID-19 could mean starvation. We need your help to protect and support at-risk families in Afghanistan during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as our staff who are on the frontline working incredibly hard to help people make it through this crisis. What is the situation in Afghanistan? The second wave of COVID-19 has taken its grip on the country. The escalation of community transmission in recent weeks is creating grave implications for a country already struggling with deep seated poverty, long-running conflict and an extremely fragile health system. Inadequate health facilities, food insecurity and a lack of basic services, including access to clean water and sanitation, remain a serious problem in many areas across Afghanistan. These daily challenges are only magnified by the spread of COVID-19 and millions are suffering from the economic implications and facing malnutrition and starvation. Poverty makes crises like COVID-19 worse. Over half the population in Afghanistan lives below the poverty line and the spread of the virus poses a serious threat to their ability to cope. The cost of basic essentials have increased dramatically and an estimated 14 million people are likely facing emergency levels of food insecurity throughout the country. Women and girls are struggling to access sanitary items during the lockdown, due to their limited access to markets. Families living on the edge desperately need your support. Keep up to date on the situation in Afghanistan Make a donation What are we doing? Like everyone else, we've had to adapt to one of the most challenging moments in recent history, but we're still on the ground, supporting communities in some of the most remote and hard-to-reach areas of the country. With the help of personal protective equipment to ensure their safety and that of the communities we serve, our teams have been adapting our existing work, as well as providing safe work opportunities for vulnerable families, setting up hand-washing stations, distributing hygiene kits for families, providing food support, and disseminating information and advice about Coronavirus, hygiene, and social distancing. The secondary effects of the virus and prolonged lock-downs will hit vulnerable communities in Afghanistan hard, where there is no social safety net, no furlough scheme and no other options. If you cannot grow food to feed your families, and you can no longer afford to buy it because the prices have gone up, then you have nowhere to turn. We are providing emergency food and heating support to the most vulnerable, and providing longer-term support to help families plant and grow more this coming spring. We need your help to ensure we can continue to provide support and get families through this difficult time. What can you do? There are two key ways you can help the people of Afghanistan: 1. Make a donation 2. Join our team of At Home Heroes and fundraise for us We're working incredibly hard to protect vulnerable communities in Afghanistan during this Coronavirus crisis. During challenging times, donations from our supporters are an absolutely vital resource for Afghanaid, and will help to ensure we can continue to reach those who need it most, and provide vital assistance to the most vulnerable. Any support you can give, no matter how small or large, is hugely appreciated at this difficult time. How will your contribution help? The people of Afghanistan need immediate, simple but very effective health responses. We are asking you to be a part of this essential response. For example, you can help: provide emergency assistance to those in desperate situations; support a vulnerable family with emergency food; provide heating and blankets to families struggling to make it through winter; buy protective equipment for staff so that they can continue to work; set up hand washing stations in remote areas; provide essential hygiene kits for families across the country; buy men, women and children face masks and protective gloves so they can best protect themselves.