Five (Genuine) Ways to Help the Afghanistan Crisis with ISHKAR

Afghanistan is in a state of emergency. Here’s what you can do to help.

With the Taliban now in almost complete control of Afghanistan, the country is experiencing a humanitarian crisis. In the face of such widespread tragedy, it can feel challenging to know who to believe, through which organisation to donate and how to help.

In an effort to drill down the most actionable ways in which we can offer support, we spoke with ISHKAR, a retail and travel brand that works closely with Afghan artisans to bring their craftsmanship and stories to the world. Here are the brand's top tips for making a genuine difference to those affected by the crisis.

Header image credit: Jim Huylebroek

Buy a print from ISHKAR's emergency fundraiser

ISHKAR has teamed up with photojournalists from around the world to raise funds for EMERGENCY, an Afghan-run NGO providing non-partisan healthcare and emergency treatment in Afghanistan. By buying a print from the platform, you'll be donating to EMERGENCY and helping the organisation to treat victims of the escalating conflict.

Buy a print here, or donate directly to EMERGENCY here.

Image credit: Rena Effendi

Buy crafts from one of ISHKAR's artisans

Although it has currently removed all online references to its artisans in order to protect their identities, ISHKAR is continuing to sell products that it holds in stock. The platform has Afghanistan's interests at heart and its core aim is to continue working with the same makers, so if it can continue to do so without putting them in danger, it will. By buying a product crafted in Afghanistan, you'll not only be supporting local artisans on the ground, but also investing in projects abroad that will help Afghan refugees. Plus, you'll be contributing to the preservation and promotion of the country's traditional craftsmanship, which is currently in great danger of being lost forever.

Buy objects here.

Image credit: Matthieu Paley

Support other Afghan brands

Buy directly from Afghan-led brands that support traditional craftsmanship, such as Sevar Studios, a jewellery brand funding training programmes for young women in Afghanistan, and Laman, an Afghan clothing label working closely with local artisans.

Explore Sevar Studios here, and Laman here.

Image credit: Solmaz Daryani

Write to your local MP

Around 10,000 Afghan refugees are forecast to be resettled in the UK this year (although this number is likely to significantly increase in reality). By asking your local MP what their plans are for the Afghan citizens' resettlement, you'll be putting necessary pressure on your local authority to take quick action. If their plans have already been announced, explore how you can help in your community via your local council's website.

Find your local MP here, and your local council here.

Image credit: Emily Garthwaite

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