Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has sent urgently needed supplies to relieve the suffering of Afghan refugees arriving in Qatar, according to a news release Tuesday.
All known church members who were deployed or working in Afghanistan are out of the country and accounted for, the release said.
Latter-day Saint Charities provided clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies and infant care items such as baby formula, diapers and wipes, as well small toys for the children to individuals and families who had fled Kabul and the Taliban by the thousands. Most arrived in Qatar with only the clothes they were wearing, the release said.
The supplies saved lives, said Jonathan Dawson, a Latter-day Saint leader in Qatar.
“We saved lives and bridged the gap for the first three days for thousands of Afghan refugees,” Dawson said. “Without this, I shudder to think what might have happened. The donations from Latter-day Saint Charities were heaven sent.”
Thousands of Afghans have been trying to flee Afghanistan since the Taliban completed its takeover of the country earlier this month. Many of those reached Qatar and are living in unsanitary conditions, according to Axios.
Latter-day Saints and friends in the region collected the supplies from local stores, many of which offered significant discounts. The supplies were loaded into the equivalent of 90 passenger vans and volunteers worked day and night to distribute them to arriving refugees.
It was an inspiring act to witness, said Elder Anthony D. Perkins, president of the church’s Middle East/Africa North Area.
“It is inspiring to witness Latter-day Saints and our friends reaching out to help immediately and tirelessly,” Elder Perkins said. “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.”