MCC Responding to Afghan Refugee Crisis: Donations Welcome

Mennonite Central Committee
Friday, 28 September 2001

WINNIPEG, Man. -- Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is responding to the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan with food, shelter and winter comforters.

Specifically, MCC's immediate response will include:

* $312,000 for the local purchase of food, shelter, and blankets for refugees along the border with Iran and people still in Afghanistan.

* 24,000 comforters for distribution by the Iranian Red Crescent Society. Two containers of 12,000 comforters each will leave from MCC warehouses in Canada and the U.S. within the next few weeks.

* 5,000 tonnes of food grains through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

* 616 tonnes of food for Afghan refugees in Pakistan. This food is currently in a warehouse in Peshawar, Pakistan and had originally be destined for ongoing food programs in Afghanistan. The food pipeline into Afghanistan has been shut down because of the threat of military intervention.

People wishing to contribute to MCC's response in Afghanistan should send their donations to MCC at 134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9. Cheques should be made out to Mennonite Central Committee and marked Afghan Refugees. Online donations at

MCC also welcomes gifts of comforters. Please call the MCC office at (204) 261-6381 for details before delivering them. Comforters should be new, or newly-made.

MCC has provided more than $6.2 million in aid to the most needy in Afghanistan since 1995. According to the U.N. refugee agency, the UNHCR, estimates are that some 3.7 million Afghan refugees are now living in Iran and Pakistan, with 1 million more Afghans displaced within their own country. Even before Sept. 11, Afghans fleeing war and hunger were the second-largest group of refugees in the world. The UNHCR is preparing for 1.5 million more Afghans to flee their country as a result of the current crisis.

For more information, or to contact Mennonite Central Committee, see their website at:

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