Afghanistan has largely disappeared from the media, but it remains one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. Two-thirds of the country’s population is food insecure, including 875,000 children facing acute malnutrition. Women and girls are most at risk.
The ongoing crisis has thrust the United Nations into two important but seemingly incompatible responsibilities in Afghanistan: delivering aid to those most in need while maintaining pressure on the Taliban to end its appalling human rights abuses.
The sudden loss of most international aid after the Taliban takeover in August 2021 initial crisis, But the Taliban’s increasingly repressive policies, such as preventing women from working for the United Nations and NGOs, have made the situation worse. Now humanitarian aid groups must try to deliver vital aid while ensuring that they do not rein in the Taliban’s outrageous decrees. This is not a situation that lends itself to hashtag campaigns. For aid workers trying to adhere to both the human imperative of saving lives and the principles of neutrality and impartiality, these are difficult times.
Humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan have long relied to some extent on operational flexibility And room to maneuver to continue immediate support – whether negotiating access to the front line, running girls’ schools in the 1990s, or navigating existing informal exemptions for women to work in the health, nutrition and education sectors.
However, recent UN statements have created confusion And charge Inconsistency between UN agencies, as some have allowed male staff to work while women cannot. Recognizing the need for local flexibility, it is essential that the heads of key agencies such as the World Food Program and UNICEF maintain a firm, consistent line containing Taliban actions. Breach of International Human Rights Law and the United Nations Charter.
A recent meeting The United Nations Special Envoy in Doha reportedly agreed to continue the engagement without Taliban recognition until progress is made on human rights. while some Afghans civil society Groups have declined all engagement, others check it out Necessary to overcome the economic crisis
But none of this would matter if even current humanitarian funding levels don’t improve, The huge loss of aid will leave many Afghans poor and hungry.