Aid Agencies Angry at WFP

Foreign Policy: NGOs angered as WFP considers complying with the Taliban women ban

With over 28 million Afghans depending on aid to survive, and the Taliban leaders not showing any signs of relenting on their punitive decrees, international aid agencies are dismayed at the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) apparent consideration of complying with the ban and switching into a men-only delivery operation, reports Foreign Policy magazine’s Lynne O’Donnell.

According to the report, the WFP’s unilateral decision to comply with the Taliban ban on women working as aid workers will set the norm for others to follow suit, which has caused consternations among international aid agencies, with some mulling over quitting the country, as compliance would go against the “operational ethics they are obliged to follow.”

Lynne O’Donnell told KabulNow that “If WFP does go ahead with men-only delivery to men only, it will effectively be handing control of billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the Taliban, which as we know is a drugs cartel run by sanctioned terrorists who have shown themselves incapable of making the transition from war to peace, from insurgency to governance. Women, who are already severely abused by the Taliban will be further marginalised and become even more vulnerable to violence and exploitation in all forms, and will be cut out of humanitarian statistics – they will effectively disappear.”

Some aid agencies, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Care International have partially resumed their operations – limited to health services – after receiving “assurances” from the Taliban earlier this week.