The United Nations said on Wednesday that a number of “time-critical” programs in Afghanistan had been temporarily halted, and warned many other activities could also be halted due to a ban by the Taliban-led government. for female aid workers.
United Nations aid director Martin Griffiths, who heads UN agencies and several aid groups, said in a joint statement that “women’s participation in aid delivery is not negotiable and must continue”, calling on the administration to reverse the decision.
“Prohibition of women from humanitarian work has immediate life-threatening consequences for all Afghans. Currently, several key programs have had to be temporarily halted due to a shortage of female staff.” , the statement writes.
“We cannot ignore the operational restrictions currently facing us as a humanitarian community,” it said. “We will work to resume emergency life-saving operations… But we foresee that many operations will need to be halted as we cannot provide humanitarian assistance in principle without it. female aid workers.”
The ban on female aid workers was announced on Saturday by the Taliban-led Islamic government. It follows a ban imposed last week on women attending universities. The girls were suspended from high school in March.
“No country can exclude half of its population from contributing to society,” said the statement, which was also signed by the heads of UNICEF, the World Food Program, the World Health Organization , United Nations Development Program and the United Nations High Level. Commissioner for Refugees and Human Rights.
Four major global organizations, whose humanitarian aid reaches millions of Afghans, said on Sunday they were suspending operations because they could not run their programs without female staff.
The United Nations statement said the ban on female aid workers “came at a time when more than 28 million people in Afghanistan… need support to survive as the country grapples with the risk of famine.” , economic decline, poverty and harsh winters.”
United Nations aid agencies and groups – including World Vision International, CARE International, Save the Children USA, Mercy and Interactive Action – have committed to ” uncompromisingly committed to providing independent, principled, life-saving support to all the women, men and children who need it.”
The Taliban came to power last August. They largely banned girls’ education when they took power two decades ago but say their policies have changed. The Taliban-led government has not received international recognition.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)
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