Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan release joint statement about crises in Haiti and Afghanistan: 'We are left heartbroken'

By Heather Cichowski

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan release joint statement about crises in Haiti and Afghanistan: 'We are left heartbroken'

Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry have released a moving joint statement on their Archewell website following the heartbreaking events in Haiti and Afghanistan over the last week.

In the message shared on Aug. 17, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared their shock about the state of the world and encouraged people to reach out to each other and support each other.

"The world is exceptionally fragile right now," Harry and Meghan began their post. "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."

In addition to the devastation in Haiti and Afghanistan, the couple spoke out about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the threat of new variants.

"And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared," they added.

Prince Harry sits with fellow soldiers near the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Delhi in Southern Afghanistan in January 2008. Photo: © John Stillwell - POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

The Sussexes highlighted how when an individual or community suffers, the rest of us do too, "whether we realize it or not." They urged people not to accept living in a state of suffering and encouraged those who are able to to take action to help others in need.

"It's easy to find ourselves feeling powerless, but we can put our values into action — together," they pointed out.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex championed those who have global influence to "rapidly advance the humanitarian dialogues" at events, including the U.N. General Assembly and the G20 Leaders’ Summit that are coming this fall. They have also provided a list of resources, including links to places to support and mental health resources.

In Afghanistan, they are "offering support to the military community and the troops who served in Afghanistan, as well as to the Afghan people facing violence and terror."

Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho wearing "Haiti We Care" T-shirts during a fundraising concert in Barbados in January 2010. Photo: © John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images

For Haiti, Harry and Meghan are supporting their relief efforts with Archewell's partner World Central Kitchen, which is working with local organizations to help in the recovery efforts.

World Central Kitchen and Archewell helped in previous disasters, including the devastating winter storms in Texas at the start of 2021. They helped buy a Texas women's shelter a new roof after it was damaged during the natural disaster.

In terms of the threat of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, Archewell is combating misinformation and promoting vaccine equity through its partnerships with Vax Live and Global Citizen. Harry and Meghan, who was pregnant with Lilibet at the time, participated in the Vax Live Global Citizen concert on May 8 to champion these causes.

These issues affect countless lives, and they also likely strike a personal note for Harry because he is a veteran of the Afghanistan War. The dad carried out two tours of the country during his military career.

The Duke of Sussex had previously released a joint statement regarding the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan via his role as the Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation. He shared the message along with the Chair of the Invictus Games Foundation, Lord Allen of Kensington, and the CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation, Dominic Reid.

The message was posted on the @weareinvictusgames Instagram on Aug.16.

"What's happening in Afghanistan resonates across the international Invictus community," the statement began.

"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."

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