More than 18 million people in Afghanistan, nearly half of the country’s population, require humanitarian aid. Conflict and violence have exponentially worsened the complex emergency facing the Afghan people, who are battling the compound effects of climate change, drought, and protracted conflict – leading to forced displacement en masse, rising hunger and malnutrition, ramifications from Covid-19, and a looming disintegration of public health services. These humanitarian needs are expected to further increase in the months and years to come. To meet the growing and complex humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, ACBAR and its nearly 170 members welcome the opportunity to engage with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to facilitate an operating environment for non-governmental organizations (NGO) to rapidly and efficiently deliver needed humanitarian assistance.
Since 1988, the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR) has played a pivotal role in more efficiently coordinating information, assistance and advocacy regarding the delivery of principled humanitarian services in Afghanistan, at both the national and regional levels. It has also been instrumental in driving coordination and cooperation at the global level, to highlight and advocate for the Afghan people on issues regarding disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and development in the country. ACBAR members have collectively saved lives and supported the livelihoods of millions of people over the past thirty-three years, through principled humanitarian and development action across all sectors, and by working closely with all stakeholders that include authorities, the United Nations, international donors, and wider civil society.
ACBAR members are deeply accountable to the people that they serve, striving to deliver assistance in an efficient manner that is based on the foundation of core humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence – free from discrimination of any kind because of gender, race, creed, ethnicity, or political affiliations.
A principled and inclusive humanitarian response needs women to be equitable partners for greater reach and efficiency of NGOs’ humanitarian operations. Globally, over 40 percent of the half a million humanitarian workers providing frontline care during emergencies, conflicts, and disasters are women. It is imperative that humanitarian actors in Afghanistan, including women, have unimpeded humanitarian access to deliver timely, life-saving services in communities. Humanitarian action in Afghanistan resides on the commitment of all stakeholders to fully involve and support female humanitarians working for the NGO community in support of the Afghan people – which will ensure that the humanitarian needs of all women, girls, men, and boys are effectively met.
To do this, engagement with authorities and all other actors is crucial in providing life-saving aid and assistance for health, food, shelter, education, and protection services. ACBAR re-affirms its commitment to bring together humanitarian actors and stakeholders to best serve the diverse needs of the Afghan population, which is experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis. We call on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to engage with ACBAR for facilitation of an operating environment that enables a principled humanitarian response, as well as more sustainable measures for recovery and rehabilitation, for a more prosperous and peaceful nation.
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