Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, reports that he has been contacted by numerous concerned constituents over the festive period who have asked what can be done to help people living in Afghan who are on the brink of famine.
In additional to the political turmoil, there has been a severe drought in Afghanistan – the worst in more than 25 years – which has ruined much of the country’s wheat crop and sent prices soaring.
A crisis appeal was launched in December amid fears from aid agencies that millions of Afghans were on the brink of famine. Fifteen UK aid agencies – including Save the Children, Oxfam, Cafod, Islamic Relief and the British Red Cross – joined together to ask the public to donate to their fund.
The UK government recently pledged to match up to £10 million in fundraised public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Afghanistan Appeal.
The money donated by individuals and the UK government will help provide emergency food and nutrition for children, clean drinking water and winter kits to help families stay warm, as well as supporting healthcare facilities and protect women and girls.
Several constituents have been so moved by scenes of young children desperately searching for food and water that they wrote to Toby, asking what is being done in the region to help the Afghan people.
Toby stated “I agree with local residents that it has been truly heartbreaking to witness scenes of hunger and extreme distress coming out of Afghanistan this Winter, particularly the sight of children suffering. I’m keen to raise awareness of DEC’s appeal and let constituents know how they can help”.
He added “Last year, Conservative MPs voted to scrap the 0.7% target of GDP to be allocated to overseas aid. I was proud to join my Labour colleagues in opposing such a move as I believe that it will cause immense harm to people in the harshest of circumstances – just like we have witnessed in Afghanistan in recent weeks”.
Further information about DEC’s campaign can be found at https://www.dec.org.uk