‘Save the Children’, IRIS helping families in Afghanistan, those fleeing as Taliban takes back control

Connecticut

(WTNH) — More than ever, there is concern for the children of Afghanistan. That’s why the work of organizations like “Save the Children” is critical.

In the past month, an estimated 75,000 children have had to flee their homes in Afghanistan. In addition to the political and military conflict, drought and fallout from COVID-19 have left more children without food and thousands of more children living outside without food or medical care.

RELATED: ‘We need to rescue everyone we can’: CT lawmakers speak out after Taliban takeover in Kabul

At Save the Children, they say they’re committed to staying in the country.

“What we really need to do is to make sure the situation and the safety on the ground increases so that we can start delivering those key life-saving services again,” said Athena Rayburn, director of advocacy for Save the Children. ”I mean, a lot of these communities and families are completely reliant on our food distribution to eat. They’re completely reliant on our healthcare services when they get sick.”

The longer the security remains as it is, the harsher the impact on children will be. Last year, Save the Children reached 1.7 million people across Afghanistan with direct support – and 600,000 of those are children.

RELATED: New Haven’s IRIS helps refugees from Afghanistan

As the Taliban moved in and took control of the capital city of Kabul over the weekend, thousands desperately looked to leave the country. A handful has already made their way to New Haven.

That’s thanks, in part, to the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS). The non-profit agency’s mission is to help refugees and other displaced people establish new lives.

According to Chris George, the executive director of IRIS, seven people are in Connecticut after leaving the Kabul airport shortly before it closed this weekend.

George calls it a “humbling experience” welcoming those who have suffered “horrendous persecution.”

“It is a huge responsibility to make sure that what they find here is not just better than the terrible conditions they left at home, but is really the best that they can get,” George said. “We want to make sure their kids have the best educational opportunities possible. We want to make sure they get the best healthcare possible, and we have that with Yale New Haven Hospital.”

The responsibility doesn’t end there; they also want to make sure they get jobs with good employers that offer benefits.

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