Afghanistan: Martin Griffiths warned that it would be “catastrophic” if the Taliban would not allow any exceptions to their rule.
The Taliban‘s ban on female aid workers in Afghanistan is “a potential death blow,” according to the UN’s top humanitarian official.
Martin Griffiths stated at a news conference that it would be “catastrophic” if the Taliban did not offer any exceptions to their rule.
He claimed that during discussions last week with nine Taliban leaders, including Afghanistan’s foreign affairs and economy ministers, a delegation presented the point that Afghan women are essential to humanitarian efforts.
Griffiths added, “We were asked to be patient. “We were told that the Taliban authorities are developing regulations that will reportedly provide for the functioning of women in humanitarian missions.”
The Taliban’s recurrent claim that “there will be a place for women working,” he claimed, was “a rather patronizing message, but it’s an important one.”
Griffiths stated that after the Taliban’s Dec. 24 order prohibiting aid organizations from hiring Afghan women, the ministers of health and education each made an exception for women working in the health and basic education sectors.
According to him, the humanitarian delegation warned the Taliban that they would have to “extend these exceptions to cover all the components of humanitarian operations” if they didn’t want to revoke the edict.
The United Nations and its organizations continue to employ women, according to Griffiths, who underlined that Afghan women must also be let to participate in the economy of their nation.
Griffiths, the undersecretary-general of the United Nations for humanitarian affairs, would not predict what would occur.
“Let’s see if these rules are followed. Let’s find out if they are useful. Let’s see if there is room for the crucial and important role that women play in our humanitarian efforts,” he remarked.
Condition in Afghanistan
In spite of initial assurances, since assuming power in August 2021, in the closing weeks of the 20-year withdrawal of U.S. and NATO soldiers, the Taliban have put more restrictions on children and women. Following their takeover, foreign aid virtually immediately ceased, plunging millions into destitution and famine.
Six million Afghans, who are at emergency levels of food insecurity and are one step away from starvation, according to Omar Abdi, deputy executive director for programming for the United Nations agency for children, UNICEF, who was a member of the team. It is crucial to keep up these operations, he said, because 875,000 kids are anticipated to experience severe acute malnutrition this year.
The second winter under the Taliban is being brutal in Afghanistan, he claimed. “We made it through the winter last year. With all these restrictions, I’m not sure we can continue like this forever.
Abdi mentioned some encouraging signals. According to him, 200,000 females are still thought to be enrolled in secondary schools in about 12 regions despite the Taliban’s ban on girls going to those institutions. He continued by saying that Taliban officials continued to pay wages to female secondary school instructors.
According to him, Taliban representatives assured the team once more “that they are not against girls learning in secondary schools, and again vowed to reopen once the rules are accepted by their leader.”
The number of community-based education sessions held in public spaces and private residences has increased from 10,000 to 20,000 classes in the past year, he added. These provide services to 600,000 kids, of which 55% are girls.
According to Abdi, these encouraging developments are the outcome of both the Taliban leadership’s commitment and the local people’s push to maintain the operation of public and community schools.
“Without education, Afghan girls and women absolutely have no hope for a better future,” he asserted.
CARE International’s secretary-general, Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro, stated that “locking the hands of NGOs by prohibiting women from providing life-saving care to other women will cost lives.”
Women make up about 30% of the 55,000 Afghan nationals working for NGOs, according to Janti Soeripto, president of Save the Children US. Many of these women are the only earners in their families.
Millions of women and children cannot receive relief without them, she claimed, and “the repercussions for the people of Afghanistan will be terrible” if the prohibition is not lifted.
Griffiths claimed that 28 million Afghans require assistance, making the $4.6 billion in needed aid for the nation this year the greatest amount in the entire world.
According to Griffiths, “any day that passes without proper, effective humanitarian relief is not a good day for the people of Afghanistan.”
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