A photo from inside the International Center on the UC Davis campus looking out the main entrance window, taken on a fall day. The International Center sign is backwards from this vantage point looking out as a student wearing a hat, blue jacket and backpack walks away from the doors. Three other students, one sitting on a bike and two others sitting, chat under a tree outside. A student in a pink sweater rides her bike away from the building.

Support for Afghan and Haitian Communities

UC Davis Global Affairs extends its sincere thoughts and deepest sympathies to those affected by recent disasters and crises in Afghanistan and Haiti. In addition to the difficulty of COVID-19 this last year and a half, some members of our international community, many of whom are separated from loved ones, now face additional grief, uncertainty, and fear.

We at UC Davis stand beside you and encourage the whole community to share compassion as international students, scholars, and others care for family, friends, and themselves.

Taking Action

On Friday (August 20, 2021), a statement from UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May shared information about some of the ways UC Davis is supporting Haitian and Afghan communities. We are inspired by the response from our campus and network of global partners.

  • For those displaced or concerned about access to their educational documents, Article 26 Backpack, a joint project between Global Affairs and Human Rights Studies, offers a secure, cloud-based solution administered and protected by the University of California. We encourage affected high school and university students, recent university graduates, human rights advocates, and professionals to sign up for a virtual backpack. Article 26 Backpack is available in Arabic, Dari/Farsi, English, French, and Spanish.
  • UC Davis is partnering with the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Scholar Rescue Fund and the Scholars at Risk Network, to protect threatened scholars. Last week the Office of the Chancellor and Provost committed to assisting an Afghan scholar and their family.
  • Global Affairs Travel Security continues to support UC Davis affiliates with travel questions and issues. 
  • The IIE Emergency Student Fund is available to students in F-1 or J-1 status from Afghanistan and Haiti, and can assist in providing one-time grants between $2,000-$5,000. Global Affairs and Student Affairs have partnered to match IIE contributions to UC Davis students who receive this grant.
  • Global Affairs has taken steps to establish an emergency fund for international students and scholars for further support during future crises.
  • The Refugee Interprofessional Community Engagement (RICE) Project is a collaboration between the UC Davis School of Medicine Office of Global Health and UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing along with partners including the California Department of Public Health, Office of Refugee Health, and California State University Sacramento College of Health and Human Services Division of Social Work. In anticipation of the arrival of Afghan refugees to the Sacramento area, RICE has issued a call for medical student, nursing student, and translation volunteers. Contact Michael Wilkes at mswilkes@ucdavis.edu or Patrick Marius Koga at pmkoga@ucdavis.edu for information.
  • Our Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) office has reached out to students and scholars from affected countries who are here on U.S. visas to lend support and share services. SISS remains committed to international students and scholars during these uncertain times and encourages anyone with questions about their visa or immigration status, access to services, or other related issues to contact an SISS advisor.

Finding Resources

If recent events in your home country have impacted you, please remember that UC Davis offers services and resources to help manage stress and grief. If you are struggling or unsure how to cope with your feelings, please connect with these resources. They can help.


  • Make an appointment to speak to someone through Student Health and Counseling Services, which provides services to all registered students in the U.S.
  • Afghan students may wish to contact Affaf Waseem, director for Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian Student Resources in the Student Community Center, at awaseem@ucdavis.edu, with any questions or concerns, or if you need someone to talk to

Scholars, faculty, and staff

  • The Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) offers confidential and cost-free assessment, counseling, consultation, and referral services to all UC Davis and UC Davis Health faculty, staff, and families. For scholars located in Davis, please call (530) 752-2727 for an appointment. For scholars in Sacramento, please call (916) 734-2727 for an appointment.

Ways to get involved



Your Aggie community stands in support of you during these troubling times.

Joanna Regulska
Vice Provost and Dean - Global Affairs

Keisha Liggett-Nichols
Assistant Vice Provost, Global Affairs

Wesley Young
Director, Services for International Students and Scholars, Global Affairs 

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