Maya Evans coordinates Creative Voices for Non-Violence in the UK. Here, she writes about the great toll — both human and monetarily — that the war in Afghanistan has taken since it was launched 19 years ago this month.

“Nineteen years later and the US is still trying to extricate itself out of the longest war in its history,” Evans writes, “having failed in 2 of its three original aims: toppling the Taliban and liberating Afghan women.

“The overall cost of the war has been over 100,000 Afghan lives, and 3,502 NATO and US military fatalities,” she adds. “It has been calculated that the US has so far spent $822 billion on the war. While no up to date calculation exists for the UK, in 2013 it was thought to have been £37 billion.”

Evans’ essay is part of a national action this week to mark solidarity with refugees and migrants who are currently facing the hostile environment of harsh British policy and treatment. Read  her full essay here.