Afghanistan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 68 | 01 – 30 September 2017 [EN/Dari]
Following a series of attacks leaving seven staff members of ICRC dead, the organization reduces its footprint in Afghanistan after three decades of continuous presence.
Displacement in Afghanistan surpasses a quarter of a million people from January to September.
Polio vaccinators were unable to reach more than 130,000 girls and boys due to conflict and lack of humanitarian access.
Donor dialogue: DFID, one of Afghanistan’s top donors, shares insights on funding priorities, strategies and the importance of national NGOs.
ICRC forced to reduce presence in Afghanistan
After a series of attacks in which seven staff members were killed and three abducted, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has taken the decision to reduce its presence in Afghanistan. "Since December 2016, the ICRC has been directly targeted in northern Afghanistan three times," said Monica Zanarelli, head of delegation for the ICRC in Afghanistan on 9 October at a media conference in Kabul.
The ICRC's offices of Maimana, Faryab Province, and Kunduz, Kunduz Province, will be closed and the sub-delegation in Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh, will be seriously downsized, according to ICRC. The orthopaedic centre in Mazar-e-Sharif will remain open, while the ICRC assesses the ability of partners or the Afghan authorities to take it over. In the rest of the country, activities are also being reviewed. Last year, ICRC assisted more than 135,000 patients in seven orthopaedic centres. "This is a difficult moment for the ICRC and the staff," said Ms. Zanarelli. "After 30 years of continuous presence in the country, we are reducing our presence and operations. But let's be very clear, we are not leaving Afghanistan. Limiting our staff's exposure to risks is our focus, all the while assisting the people affected by the conflict the best way we can.”