Here's how you can help if you're appalled by what's happening in Afghanistan

·3 min read
Internally displaced Afghans who fled their home due to fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security personnel, from north provinces are seen at a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Internally displaced Afghans, who fled their home in northern provinces due to fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security personnel, at a public park in Kabul. (AP)

The speed by which Taliban militants seized power in Afghanistan after advancing rapidly as US forces withdrew from the country has taken many by surprise.

The hardline Islamist group entered the capital Kabul on Sunday as President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad.

The Taliban, which means "students" in the Pashto language, gained control of the country in 1996 after emerging as one of the factions fighting in the civil war.

They ruled the country through intimidation and fear, stripping back women's freedoms and holding regular public executions until they were ousted from power by NATO forces in 2001.

Watch: What's the future for Afghanistan?

Many Afghans have expressed fear that the Taliban will return Afghanistan to the brutal rule they used when last in charge.

This has prompted waves of people trying to flee with footage showing people clinging to a US airforce plane in an airport in Kabul.

Read: Have your say: Has the deployment of UK troops in Afghanistan achieved anything?

Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has said the insurgents seek no revenge on the population and that "everyone is forgiven".

But many, especially women, remain fearful of the insurgents after their takeover saw prisons emptied and armouries looted.

TOPSHOT - This image distributed Courtesy of the US Air Force shows the inside of Reach 871, a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III flown from Kabul to Qatar on August 15, 2021. The plane safely evacuated some 640 Afghans from Kabul late Sunday, according to U.S. defense officials contacted by Defense One. Tens of thousands of people have tried to flee Afghanistan to escape the hardline Islamist rule expected under the Taliban, or fearing direct retribution for siding with the US-backed government that ruled for the past two decades. Evacuation flights from Kabul's airport restarted on Tuesday after chaos the previous day in which huge crowds mobbed the tarmac, with some people so desperate they clung to the outside of a US military plane as it prepared for take-off.   
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Inside of Reach 871, a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, as it evacuates some 640 Afghans from Kabul late Sunday. (AFP)

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says it is concerned the chaos will lead to a surge in coronavirus cases.

Here we take a look at how you can help as the humanitarian crisis worsens.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which works to aid and protect forcibly displaced people, has a webpage where anyone can donate money to help support those fleeing the country.

Choose Love

The charity's online store offers people the chance to buy real supplies and services that will go directly to refugees.

The British Red Cross

The British Red Cross, which is working on the ground in Afghanistan, has set up a targeted donation page on its website.

Women for Afghan Women

Those hoping to specifically support Afghan women during the crisis, can donate money to this organisation, which has been working 24/7 over the past few weeks to keep women in the country safe.

Watch: Taliban 'already stripping Afghans of their rights'

The Refugee Council

The Refugee Council, which supports those trying to rebuild their life in the UK, also asks for donations on its website

CARE

This global organisation, which works in over 100 countries to fight poverty and provide humanitarian aid programs, will match anything you donate on their website to the crisis in Afghanistan.  

Sign petitions to UK government

As the crisis unfurled, petitions have been set up online, calling for the UK government to resettle refugees from the country and protect the safety and freedom of Afghan women and girls. 

Write to your MP

Anyone can write to their local MP to make their thoughts known about how the UK government can better provide aid and protection to those in Afghanistan. 

Watch: Why there are grave fears for women under Taliban rule

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