If we’ve learnt anything from our leadership in New Zealand, it’s that ‘be kind’ are words to live by. Being kind is a part of who we are as Kiwis.
Today, alongside more than 60 other charities, civil society groups, and community leaders, we’re asking our government to extend that kindness beyond our borders and do more for Afghanistan.
Forty years of war, natural disasters, and COVID-19 have pushed Afghanistan to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. The needs are growing by the hour, and New Zealand must respond.
Together, we’re calling on the government to:
- Urgently increase humanitarian and development support
- Establish and ensure safe pathways of relocation and resettlement for Afghan nationals to New Zealand.
- Establish formal mechanisms to liaise and consult meaningfully with the Afghan community here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Lead international efforts.
Read the Open Letter
Facts about the situation in Afghanistan
- People in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat. Almost 50% of children under five are facing acute malnutrition and need life-saving treatment.
- In 2021, an estimated 16.9 million people, 42% of the population, will be in crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity.
International humanitarian efforts are able to continue to reach those most in need amidst the political disruptions. For example, in a joint World Health Organization and World Food Programme operation this week, a series of three planes delivered around 50 metric tons of essential drugs to Mazar-i-Sharif. This is the second such delivery. The Taliban have confirmed in writing to the United Nations that they will allow humanitarian assistance to be provided in Afghanistan (here).
What you can do
Email your MP here: https://actionstation.org.nz/action/afghanistan
You can email your local MP using the email template provided below.
Dear [MP Name],
My name is ___ and I live in _____, which is in your electorate.
[this is issue is important to me because]
Forty years of war, natural disasters, and COVID-19 have pushed Afghanistan to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. There are compounding crises taking place, including hunger, displacement, conflict, and Covid-19. The needs are growing by the hour, and New Zealand must respond.
I request that you do all you can to get the Government to:
- urgently increase humanitarian and development support
- establish and ensure safe pathways of relocation and resettlement for Afghan nationals to New Zealand.
- establish formal mechanisms to liaise and consult meaningfully with the Afghan community here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
- lead international efforts.
You can get more detail about these asks in an Open Letter signed by over 60 charities, civil society groups and leaders and sent to Minister Mahuta this week. Read the Open Letter
The New Zealand Government spent 20 years and hundreds of millions of dollars in military expenditure as part of the international intervention in Afghanistan. We have an obligation to the people of Afghanistan to stand by them now. Be it the provision of aid, or safe pathways to New Zealand, the time for response is immediate and the cost of inaction is high.
Please act now so New Zealand doesn’t abandon the people of Afghanistan in a time of great need.
Note, the form provides space for you to personalise your message. These messages are best when they are personal to you and offer reasons why you care about this issue. Here are some suggestions of the types of things you could adapt or copy and paste into your email.
Reasons New Zealand should extend kindness beyond our borders and act now for Afghanistan
- I value our shared humanity
- I believe we are part of a global community that looks out for those in times of crisis and we can step-up to help people in Afghanistan.
- As a parent / as someone caring for loved ones at this time, I feel compassion for the situation of families in Afghanistan trying to provide for their loved ones.
- I believe we can step up with aroha and care at this time because every person should be able to access what they need and New Zealand has the capacity to contribute.
- I have donated to a humanitarian appeal for Afghanistan and I think the government should do the same.
- We have a long-standing relationship with Afghanistan and a community of over 6000 Afghan New Zealanders living here.
- New Zealand has a responsibility to support Afghanistan at this time. Our government spent many hundreds of millions in a military deployment in Afghanistan over 20 years. Our aid spending in Afghanistan has dropped off in recent years, to less than US$2 million in 2019.
- There are ongoing reports of gross human rights abuses. Women, children, and those who have worked to promote human rights, democracy and education, are amongst the people most at risk. Urgent action is needed to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster and to ensure that every individual has their rights and dignity upheld.
Media links on the Afghanistan situation & more government action needed
- Government faces mounting pressure to rescue stranded New Zealanders and at-risk Afghans from Taliban | Stuff.co.nz
- Fall of Afghanistan: Group makes urgent plea to NZ Government to take action - NZ Herald
- Afghanistan: Pressure stays on NZ government to take action | RNZ News