Afghan aid workers face a difficult path under Taliban rule

Even while US and NATO troops and almost the entire Western diplomatic corps are packed up and fled the Afghan capital last month when the Taliban took control, a handful of of international driver assistance made An decision: They stayed put.

They are now the most visible representatives of the decades-long western development mission in Afghanistan, and beyond with humanitarian organizations of the United Nations, are the people on negotiate the ground with the Taliban on Working conditions for thousands of Afghan workers.

seven out of eight of the directors who stayed with lead their organizations’ relief efforts in being Afghanistan women.

“There are not many” of us here,” said one of them. “There is a lot of uncertainty.” She, like others, asked not to be mentioned during relationships with the Taliban remain so tentative.

For the past 20 years, military and diplomatic troops from all over over the world took over central Kabul, filling a green zone next to the presidential palace with embassies, military bases and residences. But long before they came, non-governmental development organizations worked on poverty alleviation and help developing essential health and education services in Afghanistan.

Most of they were careful to distance itself from the US-led military operations after they started in 2001. Ze already had experience working with the Taliban, when they ruled the country in the late 1990s and when it took control of rural districts in past months and years.

Now, in a time when Afghanistan’s aid needs are… more desperate than ever, the diplomatic of the aid organizations skills be sent to the test as perhaps never before.

An of the worldthe poorest countries, Afghanistan was already in real need before the Taliban takeover, with 3.5 million people internally displaced and 18 million people dependent on humanitarian help in a country of about 38 million. But aid organizations are concerned over embracing a too soon organization like the Taliban with An history of brutality.

“We need to participate, because this is a very important moment to participate and try to influence,” said Filippo Grandi, the head of the United Nations Refugee Agency. “But I think we need to reserve our judgment a little bit.”

With some aid organizations met no fewer than 1,500 local employees in the whole country in critical areas such as health care, education and agriculture, the larger organizations say they have never considered in to grab up of Close down. Instead they were left to watch as thousands who had worked in the government of with foreign organizations rushed to Kabul airport to catch evacuation flights.

“To be like going through the stages of mourning,” one country director said of the takeover by the Taliban on Aug 15 “When they entered Kabul I didn’t sleep of ate for three days. I was sedated. I was on the line with everybody, with staff around the clock.”

After some militants occupied her office, she recalled, she had to face a tense confrontation like any other group sent by the Taliban Commissioner for foreign aid wrested it out back. Then came the ordeal of evacuate her international employees through the chaos at the airport.

Some of the organizationAfghan staffers also chose to leave, but the vast majority stayed, in in large part because there is no way out.

“I think the point I accepted I wasn’t going to get… out, was the point where I could sleep again,” the country director said. “My staff need me. I think it will be fine.”

The most immediate concerns were to prevent looting of their offices and warehouses and to protect local employees. The Taliban have asked humanitarian organizations to continue operating and assured them that they would provide security, even handover out a phone number to call if armed men pay a visit.

Yet Taliban members have taken over the connection of at least one non-profit organization and looted equipment and vehicles from others, several assistant directors said. And fighters from the powerful Haqqani network have taken over the big campus of the American university of Afghanistan, a proud flagship of US investment in higher education for Afghans.

in addition to the danger of so many armed groups, and the threat of the ISIS-K group, die claimed responsibility for a devastating suicide attack at the airportthere’s the growth problem of hunger. Last week, a top humanitarian UN official in Afghanistan warned that the organization’s offer of food aid dwindled and run out at the end of the month.

And buying food has become difficult for much, impossible for some.

Salaries over worldwide government, including in the health and education sectors have been shut down, result of An decision by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to freeze funding after the government of President Ashraf Ghani collapsed in and the Taliban took over. The Central Banks assets goods also frozen, leading closing and limiting banks access until cash. There is no for day laborers work to have.

Outside the capital, the attitudes of Afghanistan’s new rulers vary. That has left aid organizations can resume their usual activities in only four of the 34 provinces of the country.

In some places everything has been suspended, from schools and health clinics to public offices and companies. In at least six provinces, women are not allowed to resume work, according to one of the country directors are monitoring the situation in the whole country.

In some areas, the Taliban have visited non-profit organizations to demand lists of employees and assets, information on the organization’s budget and purchasing contracts. She also announced that they imposed restrictions on recruitment. Those actions are at odds with the reassurances die provided by the Taliban leadership, expressing concern over: tougher controls forward.


“She desperate need someone to do something for the Afghan peoplesaid Mr Grandi, the UN refugee chief, in an interview at his headquarters in Geneva, adding: “We can… help a lot of the people, and we need to be at this point.”

But he warned that humanitarian aid would not be enough to survive off a disaster, and urged western governments to consider fast as regards how until work with the Taliban to restart the larger scale development staff die was funded by the World Bank and die provided health care, education and other basic services such as clean drinking water.

“They have to think over the development piece, the institutional piece, the World Bank, the IMF piece pretty quickly,” he said. “If you don’t, risk of displacement is big.”

Mr Grandi said he has heard the “most extraordinary concern” from European governments die to be afraid of a repeat of 2015, when? more then one million Syrian refugees entered Europe.

More fights maybe cause some Afghans are fleeing their country, he said. Thus the imposition of a radical Taliban regime, he added. But a collapse of services and the economy, he warned, could cause a crowd of movement of people from Afghanistan.

Non-profit organizations work out a ratio with the new Taliban rulers say: need are hard conditions.

Limits on women working would not only be an infringement of their rights, but would also have widespread consequences for how help is provided, one country director said. Nothing but women can enter people’s homes and needs reliably, and without them, development aid would be unfairly administered, she said.

“It is very important that non-governmental organizations have a united front,” she said.

Read More: World News


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