Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have issued a joint statement regarding the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan, as well as earth-stricken Haiti.
On Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took to their Archewell Foundation website and encouraged followers to unite and support organizations “doing critical work” to help those in need.
“The world is exceptionally fragile right now,” they wrote. “As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless.
As we all watch the growing humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and the threat of it worsening after last weekend’s earthquake, we are left heartbroken.
And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared.”
“When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them, whether we realize it or not,” the royals shared.
“And though we are not meant to live in a state of suffering, we, as a people, are being conditioned to accept it. It’s easy to find ourselves feeling powerless, but we can put our values into action — together.”
To start, we encourage you to join us in supporting a number of organizations doing critical work,” the couple continued.
“We also urge those in positions of global influence to rapidly advance the humanitarian dialogues that are expected to take place this fall at multilateral gatherings such as the U.N. General Assembly and the G20 Leaders’ Summit.”
“As an international community, it is the decisions we make now — to alleviate suffering among those we know and those we may never meet — that will prove our humanity,” the duke and duchess concluded their statement.
The message came a day after Harry issued a joint statement with Dominic Reid, the CEO of his Invictus Games. The 36-year-old previously served in the British Army for a decade, including two deployments in Afghanistan.
“What’s happening in Afghanistan resonates across the international Invictus community,” their statement read.
“Many of the participating nations and competitors in the Invictus Games family are bound by a shared experience of serving in Afghanistan over the past two decades, and for several years, we have competed alongside Invictus Games Team Afghanistan.”
“We encourage everybody across the Invictus network — and the wider military community — to reach out to each other and offer support for one another,” they added.
The Duke of Sussex founded the Invictus Games in 2014 in an effort to use athletics and competition to inspire servicemembers to recover both physically and mentally from injuries suffered in combat.
The international military community has expressed strong feelings about the situation in Afghanistan after more than two decades of military operations designed to stop the Taliban from reclaiming power.
The Taliban moved into several cities in the country in recent weeks, culminating in the takeover of the capital city of Kabul over the weekend.
The fall of the city triggered the collapse of the government as U.S. forces continued their planned withdrawal.
The Taliban is pushing to restore the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the formal name of the country under the Taliban rule before the militants were ousted by U.S-led forces in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which were orchestrated by Al Qaeda while it was being sheltered by the Taliban.
President Biden addressed the nation Monday, saying he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan after having a presence for 20 years while admitting that the fall of the country to the Taliban “did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.”
The president, speaking from the White House, said his administration has been “closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan,” and is moving “quickly” to execute the new plans put in place.
“I stand squarely behind my decision,” the president said. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way, that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”
Tropical Storm Grace also swept over Haiti with drenching rains just days after a powerful earthquake battered the impoverished Caribbean nation, adding to the misery of thousands who lost loved ones, suffered injuries or found themselves homeless and forcing overwhelmed hospitals and rescuers to act quickly.
Heavy rain and strong winds overnight whipped at the country’s southwestern area, hit hardest by Saturday’s quake, and officials warned that rainfall could reach 15 inches in some areas before the storm moved on.
Port-au-Prince, the capital, also saw heavy rains. Grace regained tropical storm status after falling to the level of a tropical depression.
The storm arrived on the same day that the country’s Civil Protection Agency raised the death toll from the earthquake to 1,419 and the number of injured to 6,000, many of whom have had to wait for medical help lying outside in wilting heat.
Grace’s rain and wind raised the threat of mudslides and flash flooding as it slowly passed by southwestern Haiti’s Tiburon Peninsula before heading toward Jamaica and southeastern Cuba on Tuesday. Forecasters said it could be a hurricane before hitting Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The quake nearly wrecked some towns in the latest disaster to befall the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.
Haitians already were struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, gang violence, worsening poverty and the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
A hospital in the badly damaged town of Haiti’s Les Cayes was so crowded with patients after the earthquake that many had to lie in patios, corridors, verandas and hallways, but the approaching storm had officials scrambling to relocate them as best they could.
Officials said the magnitude 7.2 earthquake destroyed more than 7,000 homes and damaged nearly 5,000, leaving some 30,000 families homeless. Hospitals, schools, offices and churches also were demolished or badly damaged.