Afghanistan: One Year On from the Fall of Kabul - Hope 103.2

Afghanistan: One Year On from the Fall of Kabul

With 2.6 million refugees scattered worldwide and an additional 3.5 million people internally displaced, Afghanistan's situation is critical.

By Georgia FreeTuesday 16 Aug 2022Hope DriveSocial JusticeReading Time: 3 minutes

It’s been one year since Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban. Although Afghanistan has largely been out of the news headlines in the past few months, the situation in the country is more dire than it ever has been.

With 2.6 million Afghan refugees around the world and an additional 3.5 million people internally displaced, Afghanistan is in critical need of aid and support. World Vision CEO Daniel Wordsworth joined Hope Drive and shared what life is like in Afghanistan right now.

Daniel Wordsworth, CEO of World Vision Australia

Source: Sight Magazine Facebook / World Vision Australia CEO Daniel Wordsworth

Childhoods stripped away

“Afghanistan has always been one of the toughest places on earth to be a child and unfortunately in the past year it’s got even tougher,” Daniel Wordsworth told Hope Drive.

“Right now, we’re in the height of summer – it’s dry, dusty and incredibly hot.”

“Afghanistan has always been one of the toughest places on earth to be a child and unfortunately in the past year it’s got even tougher,” – World Vision CEO Daniel Wordsworth

As well as extreme heat, there are major food shortages, with 97 per cent of the country reported to be in poverty.

“Over 50 per cent of children suffer from acute malnutrition,” Daniel said.

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“70 per cent of the boys are working.

“Girls can’t attend school after the age of 11 and are worried they are going to be sold into child marriage, just to have enough food to survive.”

Tough to be a family

Women’s rights have also been eroded in the last year. Most can no longer even go to the markets to shop, and are essentially trapped within their houses.

“Families live in mud dwellings, inside walled compounds,” Daniel said.

“Families are stuck behind these compounds, mostly women and girls.

“Afghanistan is a tough country to live and work in, but it’s toughest of all to be a family.”

Afghanistan humanitarian crisis

Source: Tearfund Australia Facebook

What is Australia doing to help?

There has been almost 6000 humanitarian visas granted to Afghans by the Australian Government in the past year, with over 30,000 places remaining over the next four years.

However, reportedly, almost 200,000 people have already applied for these places, with most remaining in limbo due to major processing delays.

“We need the government to remain resolute to those numbers and get the most vulnerable processed first,” Daniel said.

World Vision hasn’t left

US Air Force plane leaving Kabul Airport, Afghanistan as the Taliban take the city

Source: ABC screenshot

World Vision has remained on the ground in Afghanistan for the last 12 months, increasing their program to adapt to the many challenges and needs of Afghans. They have reached one million people with food, clean water, mobile health clinics and job assistance.

Although the crisis in Afghanistan can often seem overwhelming and bleak, Daniel remains filled with hope and faith for the future – and urges the community to feel the same.

“Sometimes just because you can’t see a way through doesn’t mean there isn’t a way through. We know that we can do things,” he said.

“Of course, this is a big rock that we’re pushing up a hill but we can do something about it.

“We didn’t leave when everyone was fleeing to the airport, and we’re not going to leave.”

“We didn’t leave when everyone was fleeing to the airport, and we’re not going to leave,” – World Vision CEO Daniel Wordsworth

Listen to Daniel Wordsworth’s full interview in the player above.

For more information on the work of World Vision in Afghanistan, visit their website.


Mornings with Ben McEachen

Former CEO of World Vision, Tim Costello is now Executive Director of Micah Australia, a grassroots social justice movement.

Tim Costello

Source: Supplied

In the days following the Taliban seizing control of Afghanistan in 2021, Tim helped to create and spearhead Christians United for Afghanistan. This collective of Christian organisations and denominations has lobbied for greater aid and funding for Afghanistan from Australia, as well as increased refugee intake.

Tim spoke with Hope Mornings about life in Afghanistan, and how Australians can still act locally to help Afghan people.