An Afghan refugee, who was part of a group fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan, gave birth on board a U.S. evacuation plane over the weekend, just moments after landing at an Air Force base in Germany. The unidentified woman went into labor while inside an Air Force C-17 aircraft, and experienced complications during the flight.
“The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” Air Mobility Command wrote on Twitter.
According to the Air Mobility Command Twitter account, the mother received medical support immediately after delivering the baby in the cargo bay area of the plane.
Medical support personnel from the 86th Medical Group help an Afghan mother and family off a U.S. Air Force C-17, c… https://t.co/OXv4XM9UKc
— Air Mobility Command (@AirMobilityCmd)
The evacuation plane was transporting Afghans from an “intermediate staging base in the Middle East,” according to Air Mobility Command.
Last week, the Taliban took over the country of Afghanistan—leading thousands of people to flee the country receive housing within various U.S. Air Bases in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The Taliban takeover coincides with the withdrawal of U.S. troops after spending decades in active duty in Afghanistan.
The United Nations says the conflict in Afghanistan has already been very deadly for children this year—with more than 500 killed and more than two dozen in just a few days of recent fighting this month.
The Washington Post reports the mother and baby girl are in good health. Many people lauded the efforts of everyone on board who helped the mother deliver her baby safely and the mother herself, for having the courage to flee while full-term.
@AirMobilityCmd @JerryDunleavy Some happy news
— your mom (@MMsouthernmom)
@AirMobilityCmd 21 August is a good birthday. Best wishes to mom and the little one; to the crew: outstanding!
— parseword (@parseword)
@AirMobilityCmd Kudos to the brave mother who risked her life to get on board Welcome this freedom child with w… https://t.co/ogPtd4Mcsl
— Naresh (@Naresh87613674)
The Washington Post reports that since the evacuation began last week, about 17,000 people have been flown out of Kabul—including 2,500 Americans. More than 240,000 Afghans total have been internally displaced since the U.S. began its withdrawal from the country back in May.
As the Taliban rise in power in Afghanistan, Afghans are fleeing their homes on foot and in cars and even rickshaws to escape the Islamist group.
“We are seeing large-scale displacement in what is now a humanitarian emergency,” Christopher Boian, a senior communications officer for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told The Washington Post.
If you’re looking for ways to help women and children Afghan refugees, you can donate to these organizations that are helping those still trapped in conflict.
Women for Women International — A nonprofit established an emergency campaign in Afghanistan. “We work at the critical intersection of women and conflict providing skills, knowledge, and resources that create sustainable change for women, their families, and their communities,” per their website.
Women for Afghan Women — The “largest women’s organization in Afghanistan,” according to its website, is accepting donations to help provide “safe shelter, resources, and aid to the thousands of women, children, families, and staff.”
Child Foundation — Helps impoverished children access education, created the Afghanistan Crisis Fund for Emergency Assistance in the Balkh province, where about 800 children supported by the foundation live. The organization is accepting donations.