Community renews Afghan appeal as harsh winter sets in
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Community renews Afghan appeal as harsh winter sets in

Backed by key synagogue movements and communal organisations, the World Jewish Relief campaign aims to support displaced by the Taliban

Hadia Ahmadi, 43, a teacher in various schools until the Taliban took control, now waxes shoes for people along a street in Kabul (Photo: Reuters/Ali Khara)
Hadia Ahmadi, 43, a teacher in various schools until the Taliban took control, now waxes shoes for people along a street in Kabul (Photo: Reuters/Ali Khara)

A landmark Jewish community appeal to help Afghans suffering under the Taliban regime has been relaunched as a harsh winter sets in across the region.

World Jewish Relief said 18.4 million people were facing extreme hunger in the country and that drought, conflict, the coronavirus and massive displacement had made the situation increasingly desperate.

The campaign, which revives an appeal started in August, is supported by organisations across Britain’s Jewish community.

The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council as well as the Chief Rabbi, United Synagogue, Reform, Liberal, Masorti, Spanish and Portuguese movements have all lent their support.

“Since August, World Jewish Relief has provided invaluable, life-saving assistance to Afghans who have been affected by a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis,” said Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi.

“As they seek to expand their support, especially with the onset of winter, I encourage all who are able to generously support World Jewish Relief’s Afghanistan Crisis Appeal.”

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, added: “I commend World Jewish Relief for rising to the challenge of providing vital support for Afghans who are stuck in a desperate humanitarian situation in their country. With millions facing catastrophe, this is the moment for British Jews – if they are able to – to give generously to this vital cause.”

World Jewish Relief is assisting both Afghans still inside the country and those who have become refugees.

In Afghanistan, WJR is working alongside the International Blue Crescent, which has been targeting its help towards women, children and families who have been displaced – particularly in the cities of Kabul, Herat and Kunduz.

Outside of the country, the organisation said it will continue existing projects in Britain and Turkey to provide food, healthcare and legal and psychological support.

To support the WJR appeal visit: www.worldjewishrelief.org/afghancrisis.

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