Three Humanitarian Organizations Suspend Operations in Afghanistan

In response to the Taliban’s ban on women’s work for NGOs, Save the Children, CARE International, and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) have suspended their humanitarian operations in Afghanistan. The organizations said they cannot effectively reach people in need without their female staff.

“We cannot effectively reach children, women, and men in desperate need in Afghanistan without our female staff. Without women driving our response, we would not have jointly reached millions of Afghans in need since August 2021,” the organizations said in a joint statement.

CEO of Save the Children Inger Ashing, Secretary-General of the NRC Jan Egeland, and Secretary-General of the CARE International Sofia Sprechcmann Sinerio have signed the statement issued on Sunday, December 25.

Moreover, they warned that the Taliban’s ban will affect thousands of jobs while Afghanistan is struggling with an enormous economic crisis.

Suspending their operations, the three organizations demanded equal grounds for men and women until they could continue their life-saving assistance in Afghanistan.

Over the past few days, the group has imposed bans on women’s university education, closed all educational centers for female students, and banned women from working for national and international NGOs on Saturday.

These latest restrictions on women’s rights have ignited international reactions but the Taliban authorities continue to take defensive positions and fire back.

As representative of the largest humanitarian donor for Afghanistan, US Chargé d’Affaires Karen Decker questioned the Taliban’s intention to prevent famine while the women are not allowed to distribute humanitarian aid to other women and children.

She noted in a tweet on Sunday that the Taliban Minister of Economy Qari Deen Mohammad Hanif was responsible for this ban.

The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reacted against Decker’s response and accused American officials of interfering in Afghanistan’s internal matters.

“We do not allow anyone to talk rubbish or make threats regarding the decisions of our leaders under the title of Humanitarian aid,” the Taliban spokesman responded to the US diplomat’s tweet.