A Conversation about Afghanistan

September 13, 2021

by Victoria Rudnicki

On Monday evening, Refugee Action Fund welcomed our supporters to an intimate conversation about the current crisis in Afghanistan. We had the pleasure of hosting Sahr Muhammedally, Timur Nusratty, and Michael Shaikh, to speak about the situation on the ground for Afghans, how we got here, and the immediate and long-term support that will be needed to help Afghan refugees in the United States and around the world. As always when we host roundtable discussions, we are honored to create an opportunity for our community to come together to understand the complex forces that shape the refugee crisis.

You can watch the full program here:

The abruptness of the withdrawal from Afghanistan means that the international community is suddenly faced with an influx of refugees, many of whom have fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs and will be facing a years-long resettlement process. Here in the United States, the State Department and other agencies that help resettle refugees are thinly staffed and cannot process the volume of Afghan arrivals. In addition, unless Congress or the Biden Administration takes action to designate arriving Afghans as refugees, they cannot gain access to social services (such as housing and support getting on their feet), legal status in the United States, and family reunification.

As heartbreaking as it has been to watch the events that have unfolded over the past few months in Afghanistan, Timur described the importance of continuing to support the Afghan people beyond when the headlines fade from our TV screens:

“The gamut of emotions that I've experienced, and that we've all experienced, in the last month… from absolute bewilderment, [to anger], to absolute heartbreak, it’s so hard. [There is also] the loss of generations of work, and for people who have bought into this vision of Afghanistan, not just the Afghans, but other people who supported too, it has been very difficult to think of the idea of the country being neglected… it's important that we continue to pay attention and put in our efforts.”

At Refugee Action Fund, we have deployed approximately $1.5 million over the past five years to support organizations who tirelessly advocate for refugees. The work we have done and will continue to do is not in response to any one event or any one time, but rather in an ongoing effort to meet the needs and advance the status of refugees and forced migrants around the world.

Sahr, too, has been moved by how Americans across the country and across political divides have come together to show empathy, recognize our shared humanity, and give generously to organizations working to support the Afghan community. Speaking about Refugee Action Fund, she said, “Donors want to know their funding is going to the right cause and it's being used with the right organizations. Refugee Action Fund does such a good job of honing in and identifying those groups through [their grantmaking process].”

To support Refugee Action Fund in our mission to ensure all forcibly displaced people have opportunities to live a safe and productive life, we encourage you to:

Give generously. Your funds will support grassroots organizations doing critical work to support the communities of refugees around the world.

Join us for our upcoming Annual Benefit: Investment + Impact: Seeing Lifelong Opportunities for Refugees to hear directly from our grantees about what our support has meant for their constituents.

Keep in touch by following us on social media (Instagram & Facebook) and joining our mailing list.