This month we marked an incredible milestone as we reached a record $10 million in funds for the Afghanistan emergency.
This month Australia for UNHCR marked an incredible milestone as we reached a record $10 million in funds for the Afghanistan emergency, thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
Since Australia for UNHCR launched its Afghanistan appeal on 16 August, a record number of funds – the highest in the organisation’s 21-year history – have been raised for UNHCR’s life-saving emergency assistance and livelihood programs including in health, education and employment.
National Director of Australia for UNHCR, Naomi Steer, says there has been an overwhelming response from donors, who are finding creative and innovative ways to demonstrate their support for Afghanistan.
“The extraordinary public response to this crisis reflects how strongly people feel about the situation right now in Afghanistan and the plight of more than 3.5 million people displaced within the country,” she said.
“We have been overwhelmed by everyday Australians who found creative and innovative ways to demonstrate their support for Afghan families and children – from big fundraisers to coffee shops donating $1 from every latte to yoga studios forgoing class costs to people selling vintage clothes and even trusty bake sales.”
Notably, artist Ben Quilty raised $6 million, including generous $1m donations from Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes and Annie Todd, his co-founder Scott Farquhar and wife Kim Jackson, and Karen Wilson of the Wilson Foundation. Quilty’s campaign galvanised the Australian art community with hundreds of artists auctioning off works and one-of-a-kind pieces.
Australian cricket legend and long-standing Australia for UNHCR Special Representative Ian Chappell is currently leading his own Batting for Afghanistan campaign with support from high profile sporting greats including Shane Warne, Sam Kerr, Sonny Bill Williams, David Warner, Paralympic legend Louise Sauvage, Afghan cricketer Rashid Khan and the Women’s Four Rowing team that won gold in Tokyo.
We urge you to buy a virtual bat and leave a message of support for the Afghan people. You can also bid at the special auction (17 Nov – 1 Dec) put together by some of Australia’s most iconic sporting personalities, with incredible experiences and sporting memorabilia up for grabs.
“I am so grateful to our donors right across Australia – from individuals, business, the arts and sports community and notable philanthropists – who have joined together in supporting Afghan people at this critical time and ensuring UNHCR can continue delivering vital humanitarian relief" - Naomi Steer
Each and every one of these contributions, big and small, will support UNHCR’s life-saving emergency assistance in Afghanistan, along with livelihood programs that mean displaced families and children can access healthcare, education pathways and employment opportunities.
UNHCR has already provided life-saving support to almost half a million Afghans who have been displaced this year, many of whom are women and children. However, our work is far from over and support is urgently needed to prepare for winter, when temperatures can plummet to minus 25 degrees. Makeshift shelters for displaced families do not protect against the cold and people have little money to buy fuel, heaters or medicine.
UNHCR is rushing to deliver urgent winter supplies to displaced Afghans through a series of chartered flights into Kabul, carrying life-saving winterisations kits but UNHCR’s Afghanistan operation is still less than half funded.
Help vulnerable Afghan families stay warm this winter.
Craftivists Stephanie Dunlap and Tal Fitzpatrick reached out to artists around the world to raise funds for Australia for UNHCR
The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.