3 leading global aid agencies partially resume activities in Afghanistan

Three leading international aid agencies have partially resumed their activities in Afghanistan after the Taliban administration’s assurance to allow female workers to carry out their work.

The international NGOs who announced resuming their work are CARE, Save the Children, and International Rescue Committee (IRC). These agencies suspended their operations in December after the Taliban announced to ban women from working in local and international aid organizations.

In a statement issued from the US on Monday, CARE said that they are resuming health and nutrition operations in Afghanistan after obtaining the necessary assurances from the Ministry of Public Health that female staff will be able to carry out their work safely and unfettered, both in community-based and support roles.

“Our female colleagues are an essential part of our organization and we cannot deliver a principled response without them, so we welcome the opportunity to resume our health and nutrition operations given the scope of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan," said the organization.

“CARE depends on both male and female staff to respond to a wide range of challenges facing the Afghan people,” it added.

CARE had previously suspended operations in response to a decision by the Taliban interim government in Kabul on Dec. 24 last year, banning all women from working for NGOs operating in Afghanistan.

Earlier, Save the Children, and International Rescue Committee also announced to partially resume their operations along with local Afghan female staff.

On Friday, IRC said they have restarted health and nutrition services in four provinces after the Ministry of Public Health offered assurances that female health staff, and those working in office support roles, can resume their work.

“We continue discussions with provincial authorities to open health and nutrition activities in more provinces,” said IRC in a statement.

However, Save the Children said they are resuming health, nutrition and some education services and a majority of programs will remain on hold.

“While the majority of our programs remain on hold, we are restarting some activities – such as health, nutrition and some education services – where we have received clear, reliable assurances from relevant authorities that our female staff will be safe and can work without obstruction," said Save the Children's Chief Operating Officer David Wright.

“However, with the overarching ban still in place, our other activities where we do not have reliable assurances that our female colleagues can return to work, remain on hold. The activities we're working to restart will provide vital assistance, but these activities are only a small percentage of our full operations,” said Wright.

Source: Anadolu Agency