Afghanistan, humanitarian action resumed wherever the participation of women workers is ensured

We reaffirm that the role of women in humanitarian work is essential and non-negotiable, in line with humanitarian principles

 

After a momentary pause, following the announcement by the Taliban authorities to ban women from working in NGOs, INTERSOS resumed health and nutrition programmes, after the clarification from the Ministry of Public Health was provided to INTERSOS and other humanitarian organisations that the ban, initially communicated by the Ministry of the Economy, does not apply to any staff linked to health and nutrition activities.

 

“We hope that other ministries will follow suit and provide similar clarification – underlines Konstantinos Moschochoritis, Director General of INTERSOS. INTERSOS position is based on two facts: the first is that the contribution of our female colleagues is essential to ensure the provision of critical humanitarian services for millions of women and girls who would otherwise be excluded. The second is that the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has never been worse, with 28 million people in need of humanitarian aid, including millions of women and girls who are almost exclusively dependent on aid provided by NGOs, especially in rural areas. For this reason, while reaffirming the non-negotiable role of women in humanitarian work, we must seek pragmatic solutions and negotiate at both central and local levels to try and obtain permission for the continued inclusion of women in all our activities, in line with humanitarian principles“.

 

INTERSOS has been operating in Afghanistan for over 20 years and currently provides integrated health, nutrition and protection services in the provinces of Kandahar, Kabul and Zabul. Our facilities include primary health centers, mobile health teams, trauma first aid points, as well as support to the maternity ward of Zabul Provincial Hospital. Our physicians, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and protection specialists work together in multidisciplinary teams to provide lifesaving care, outpatient consultations, antenatal and postnatal care, family planning, immunizations, malnutrition screening and treatment, nutritional counseling, as well as individual counseling and support for women at risk, children, people with disabilities and the elderly. Additionally, our child-friendly spaces offer informal educational and recreational activities to children without access to school. Currently, 340 Afghan women are essential for the work of INTERSOS, who guarantees them full support, assures Moschochoritis.

 

Flavia Melillo
Flavia Melillo

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