9 Best Charities Impacting Afghanistan (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities Impacting Afghanistan (Complete 2022 List)

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Olivia Lopez

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Many people in Afghanistan are affected by conflict, poverty, and food insecurity. Thousands have been forced out of their homes, and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. And with so many charities providing aid to deprived communities, we had to ask: What are the best charities for Afghanistan?

The best charities for Afghanistan are Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, and the International Rescue Committee. They provide support services across Afghanistan, such as health care and humanitarian aid. They also implement programs to safeguard and empower vulnerable Afghan communities.

Whether you want to fundraise for Afghanistan, donate to a cause that benefits Afghanistan, or raise awareness on the issues Afghan people face, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for Afghanistan are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Afghanistan Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission and impact on helping Afghanistan. They also have outstanding transparency ratings and are dedicated to improving the lives of all Afghans, including those that have been displaced internally, and refugees living elsewhere. 

They provide a range of aid services and resources to ensure civilians are protected and dignified. These include medical supplies and health care, food assistance, and other essentials. They operate across Afghanistan and all have the same goal of helping Afghan communities and delivering humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Afghanistan

Below are our favorite charities for Afghanistan:

  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Save the Children
  • International Rescue Committee
  • ActionAid International
  • Islamic Relief
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Women for Afghan Women
  • CARE International
  • Norwegian Refugee Council

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Doctors Without Borders: Distributing Medical Resources and Assistance to Afghanistan

Doctors Without Borders (or Médecins Sans Frontières) was founded in 1971 by a group of doctors, nurses, and humanitarians, to provide medical aid to vulnerable communities affected by natural disasters and armed conflict. In 1980, they began working in Afghanistan by setting up health clinics. Today, they have 5 locations across the country, where they operate hospitals, and mobile health facilities that attend to the local communities. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Doctors Without Borders has a 4-star rating and an Accountability and Transparency score of 97 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. They also have a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. For example, in 2020, nearly 85% of their income was spent on their programs and services, including projects carried out in Afghanistan. 

To respond to the crisis in Afghanistan, providing medical aid, expertise and life-saving supplies during the escalating crisis.

Doctors Without Borders

What they do: Doctors Without Borders deliver critical, medical support to vulnerable people in Afghanistan. Many of their clinics assist people with maternal healthcare, tuberculosis, and malnutrition. In addition to their health services, they carry out groundbreaking research, mobilize resources, and report on various humanitarian issues witnessed during their projects. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, Doctors Without Borders has reached thousands of Afghans with their medical support services. For example, in 2020, they assisted with over 36,000 births. They also provided tuberculosis treatment to another 1,370 people. In the same year, they gave outpatient consultations to over 130,000 people. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Doctors Without Borders by donating directly through their website. You can also show your support by attending one of their events, volunteering with them, or fundraising on their behalf.

Save the Children: Providing Life-Saving Services To Afghan Children

Save the Children was founded in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb, to deliver essential services to children in need. Jebb also went on to draft the Declaration of the Rights of a Child, to advocate for global children’s rights. After expanding their scope of work, Save the Children started working in Afghanistan in 1976, providing support to refugee and displaced children.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Save the Children has a 4-star rating and an Accountability and Transparency score of 97 out of 100, both from Charity Navigator. They also have a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. For example, in 2020, nearly 85% of their income was spent on their programs. 

Save the Children is committed to ensuring Afghan children and their families are safe and protected.

Save the Children

What they do: Save the Children aims to safeguard children in Afghanistan through educational, health, and security programs. They assist children in humanitarian crises, as well as those deprived of basic needs, such as food, shelter, or safety. They advocate for public policies that protect children’s rights, and empower children to reach their potential. Furthermore, they also protect the rights of Afghan children and families arriving as refugees in the US.

What they’ve achieved: Since they began working in Afghanistan, Save the Children has reached more than 1.6 million Afghans in crisis. For example, in 2020, they provided education services to more than 240,000 children, and assisted another 187,000 children in poverty. They also delivered health services to 93,000 Afghan children, and ensured 36,000 were safeguarded amidst conflict and violence. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Save the Children by donating through their website. They also have information detailing their urgent appeal for aid in Afghanistan, allowing you to see how your donation will impact Afghanistan. In addition, you can start a fundraiser in your community, attend some of their events, or volunteer to support children’s rights. They also have an online shop, where you can purchase branded merchandise to support their cause. Finally, you can offer to sponsor a child, so your donations directly support a child’s development.

International Rescue Committee: Protecting Afghan Refugees Around the World

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) was founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein, to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees fleeing from Nazi Germany. They continued to expand their reach by offering relief to other refugees throughout Europe. Then, in 1988, they began working in Afghanistan and delivering aid to people affected by conflict and poverty. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The International Rescue Committee holds an Accountability and Transparency score of 97 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. They also have a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. For example, in 2020, they spent nearly 87% of their income on their refugee programs and services. 

The International Rescue Committee provides vital support to Afghans who have endured four decades of violent conflict.

International Rescue Committee

What they do: The International Rescue Committee delivers life-saving services and aid to Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons in humanitarian crises. They provide educational resources, health care, and social and legal support to refugees, particularly those most vulnerable, such as women and children. They also assist Afghan refugees with assimilation into their new communities by offering language courses, and education and employment support.

What they’ve achieved: Since beginning their work in Afghanistan, the International Rescue Committee has resettled more than 10,000 Afghan families in the US. And in 2021, they assisted over 170 Afghan refugees arriving in Mexico. They also offer services within Afghanistan, such as supporting over 100 health and sanitation facilities throughout the country.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the International Rescue Committee by donating directly through their website. You can also show your support by volunteering with them, or by calling on the government to take action and protect Afghan refugees. 

ActionAid International: Safeguarding the Rights of Women and Children in Afghanistan

ActionAid International was founded in 1972 by Cecil Jackson-Cole to protect the rights of women most affected by conflict, crisis, disasters, and humanitarian emergencies. In 2002, they set up their initial projects in Afghanistan, which aimed to ensure that children were able to access schools and obtain an education. Since then, they’ve implemented several empowerment programs enabling Afghan women to claim their rights

Their impact and transparency ratings: ActionAid USA, the organization’s US branch, currently holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar – the highest rank possible. They maintain a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, along with a perfect Accountability and Transparency score of 100 out of 100. For example, in 2019, they spent approximately 82% of their income on programs and services, including those in Afghanistan.

“In Afghanistan we focus on ending violence against women and girls, [and the] promotion of inclusive and resilient livelihoods.”

ActionAid International

What they do: ActionAid International challenges social and cultural norms that suppress women and put them at risk for violence or discrimination. They also have strategic, humanitarian programming and advocacy tools to promote gender equality throughout Afghanistan. To enhance the rights of vulnerable women, they offer training and resources to female leaders, which enables them to drive social change within their communities.

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, ActionAid International has reached more than 100,000 people across 5 provinces in Afghanistan. For example, they built a well in Afghanistan to provide safe drinking water to more than 1,000 local students. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to ActionAid International by donating through their website.

Islamic Relief: Transporting Emergency Aid to Afghanistan

Islamic Relief was founded in 1984 by Dr Hany El-Banna and a group of students to respond to the ongoing famine in Africa. Their first project set out to assist a farm in Sudan. Years later, they began expanding their efforts across Africa and elsewhere, delivering emergency aid to communities in Pakistan, Iraq, and eventually, Afghanistan. Today, their headquarters is based in Birmingham, UK.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Islamic Relief holds a 3-star rating and an Accountability and Transparency score of 100 out of 100, both from Charity Navigator. They also have a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Providing emergency relief and implementing life-changing development projects for some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

Islamic Relief

What they do: Islamic Relief is dedicated to providing relief and support to vulnerable people in need, especially those in Afghanistan. They do this by raising funds for regional projects and delivering valuable resources, such as food, clothing, and shelter, to people in need. They also carry out development programs that aim to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable communities long-term.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Islamic Relief has helped more than 484,000 people in Afghanistan. For example, in 2019, they delivered winter supplies to over 25,000 Afghan people. And in 2020, they reached approximately 81,000 people across the country with public health information and counseling services. In the same year, they handed out more than 10,000 food and survival packages to families in need, including many in Afghanistan. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Islamic Relief by donating through their website. You can also read through their Afghanistan Emergency Appeal, to learn more about how your donation will directly impact people in Afghanistan.

International Committee of the Red Cross: Offering Health Care to Afghanistan

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was founded in 1863 by Henry Dunant to provide health care to victims of armed conflict. Years later, the ICRC expanded their humanitarian efforts throughout Europe as the first World War began to claim more victims. They continued providing relief into the second World War, and remain one of the most influential humanitarian organizations today.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The International Committee of the Red Cross holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Responding to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by providing health care, supporting health care infrastructure, rehabilitation support, assisting people to establish livelihoods and incomes.

International Committee of the Red Cross

What they do: The International Committee of the Red Cross provides humanitarian relief to victims of armed conflict. They remain a politically and religiously neutral organization, offering services to communities in dire need of support. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the International Committee of the Red Cross has reached thousands of people in need across Afghanistan. For example, in 2021, they treated nearly 50,000 wounded patients. They also provided improved access to water for more than 49,000 people. In the same year, they assisted over 79,000 patients in their physical rehabilitation centers across the country.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the International Committee for the Red Cross by donating through their website. You can also show your support by starting a fundraising event on behalf of their causes.

Women for Afghan Women: Supporting Afghan Women Everywhere

Women for Afghan Women (WAW) was founded in 2001 to provide support to Afghan immigrant communities in New York. They engaged in community outreach programs throughout the area before implementing similar programs in Afghanistan. Today, they operate in both the US and Afghanistan to empower Afghan women and girls, and to advocate on their behalf.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Women for Afghan Women holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Furthermore, women make up 100% of their board, showcasing their commitment to uplifting and empowering women.

A humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and as a way to empower and support Afghan refugees in the United States.

Women for Afghan Women

What they do: Women for Afghan Women provides assistance to Afghan women and girls in the US and Afghanistan. Through their services and programs, they educate and elevate Afghan women and girls within their communities. They also advocate for their rights through research and awareness-raising projects.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Women for Afghan Women has reached more than 1.6 million women with their programs and services. On average, their outreach programs and support assist more than 8,000 Afghan women every year in the US. They also employ over 800 staff members in Afghanistan to help implement their programs. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Women for Afghan Women by donating through their website. You can consider donating cryptocurrency to support their cause. You can also show your support by hosting a fundraiser on their behalf, or volunteering with an upcoming event. 

CARE International: Empowering Communities in Afghanistan

CARE International was founded in 1946 as the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe, to provide aid packages to people during World War II. They continued to expand their work across continents, offering emergency aid to people affected by disasters or conflict. In 1961, they set up their mission in Afghanistan, but had to halt services in 1979. However, by 1989, they were delivering assistance to Afghanistan again, and have done so ever since. Today, their field office for Afghanistan is based in Kabul.

Their impact and transparency ratings: CARE International holds an impressive 4-star rating and an Accountability and Transparency score of 97 out of 100, both from Charity Navigator. They hold a Financial score of 90 out of 100, also from Charity Navigator. 

CARE Afghanistan advocates with and on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized Afghans for national and international policies.

CARE International

What they do: CARE International provides educational, social, and economic empowerment programs to communities throughout Afghanistan. They deliver emergency relief to vulnerable people, such as women and children, and those living in rural areas. They also advocate for policies that incorporate the needs of the country’s marginalized groups. 

What they’ve achieved: CARE International has worked in Afghanistan for many years, reaching thousands of Afghans with their programs and services. For example, in 2018, they directly assisted more than 2,000 Afghan women with economic empowerment programs. In the same year, they also provided sexual and reproductive health to another 3,523 women. In addition, their food and nutrition programs reached 3,806 people.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to CARE International by donating through their website. 

Norwegian Refugee Council: Providing Humanitarian Aid to Afghan Refugees

The Norwegian Refugee Council was founded in 1946 as Europahjelpen, to provide assistance to refugees during World War II. In the 1960s, they expanded their scope of work to deliver aid to other refugees around the Middle East and Asia, including Palestinian and Cambodian refugees. In 2003, they established their field office in Afghanistan, and have offered support to thousands of refugees and displaced persons since.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Norwegian Refugee Council holds an Accountability and Transparency score of 88 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. For example, in 2019, they spent nearly 60% of their income on their programs and services, some of which directly impacted people in Afghanistan.

NRC Afghanistan seeks to protect and assist vulnerable women, girls, boys and men displaced by conflict and/or in hard-to-reach areas.

Norwegian Refugee Council

What they do: The Norwegian Refugee Council gives humanitarian assistance to vulnerable refugees and displaced persons fleeing violence and disasters. They provide health services and offer education programs for children. And in Afghanistan, they also operate as the only camp management organization by overseeing the day-to-day logistics of the refugee camps.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Norwegian Refugee Council has assisted more than 762,000 people across more than 14 provinces in Afghanistan. For example, in 2020, they helped over 92,000 people in Afghanistan with their education program. They also provided sanitation services to another 308,155 people. In the same year, their food security program in Afghanistan reached more than 100,000 people in need. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the Norwegian Refugee Council by donating directly through their website. You can also start a social media fundraiser on their behalf, and raise funds for their work in Afghanistan. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for Afghanistan. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to Afghanistan – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Brittany



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Olivia Lopez

Olivia loves to research and write about all things related to social justice. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights and has worked and interned with a number of NGOs, including the UN. When she’s not writing, she likes to take her dog for walks, cook Mexican food, and learn new languages.

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