Following weeks of unrest and conflict in Afghanistan and the U.S. withdrawal of troops from the nation, Latter-day Saint Charities continues to provide urgently needed help to thousands of Afghan refugees in Germany, the United States and Qatar, according to an article posted on the Church’s official newsroom on Sept. 1.
At Ramstein Air Base in Germany, between 5,000 and 7,000 Afghans are being sheltered for up to two weeks before authorities will send them to supportive communities and countries, according to article. Latter-day Saint Charities — the humanitarian arm of the Church, is distributing baby items, including diapers, formula and toys, as well as personal hygiene materials, underwear, shoes and jackets.
Thousands of these refugees will go to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. From there, they will be sent to live in communities throughout the United States. Latter-day Saint Charities is working with the United States military to provide food, clothing, shoes, diapers and baby formula to the 10,000 refugees expected at Fort McCoy.
Latter-day Saint Charities is also giving personal hygiene items, underwear, sandals and toys to refugees at an air base in Qatar. Local Latter-day Saints are distributing these items to families.
“It is inspiring to witness Latter-day Saints and our friends reaching out to help immediately and tirelessly,” said Elder Anthony D. Perkins, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Middle East/Africa North Area. “The Church of Jesus Christ has a long history of aiding refugees, and this will continue to be a priority. Our concern is for all who suffer. We anticipate ongoing needs and are prepared to respond as appropriate.”
In a previous week, individuals and families fleeing the fall of Kabul to the Taliban arrived in Qatar by the thousands, most with only the clothes they were wearing — where they received urgently needed supplies from Latter-day Saint Charities.
“We saved lives and bridged the gap for the first three days for thousands of Afghan refugees,” local Latter-day Saint leader Jonathan Dawson reported in an article posted by the Church on Aug. 24. “Without this, I shudder to think what might have happened. The donations from Latter-day Saint Charities were heaven sent.”
The rapid response was made possible by Latter-day Saints and friends in the region who contacted local stores, many of which offered significant discounts. The supplies filled the equivalent of 90 passenger vans. Volunteers worked day and night distributing the lifesaving supplies as refugees arrived.
All known members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were deployed or working in Afghanistan are out of the country and accounted for.