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Jan Egeland: 700,000 people in Afghanistan could have received assistance this year

Jan Egeland: 700,000 people in Afghanistan could have received assistance this year

Recent developments in Afghanistan are of concern to aid organizations around the world. After the Taliban seized power on August 15, 2021, women’s rights have been increasingly curtailed. Women are forced to wear full veils, forbidden to visit baths, and banned from universities.

On December 24, another ban came. Now women are no longer allowed to work in NGOs.

– This makes it impossible for us to help millions of people who need it most, says Jan Egeland.

700,000 will receive assistance

A third of the NRC’s staff are women, and the organization has ceased operations in the country.

– We can’t reach people if we only have employees. According to Afghan tradition, women in need of help are unreachable. A tenth of Afghan families are headed by a woman. We have 470 Afghan women working for us and they are absolutely essential to our work today.

According to Jan Egeland, 700,000 people will receive assistance from Norwegian refugee aid this year, but what will happen now is uncertain.

Religious leader rules

The Taliban has previously promised that they will not implement this type of misogynist measure. Jan Egeland, who has held talks with high-ranking representatives of the Taliban regime, says they gave him the same signals.

Many ministers say they agree. They want to allow women to work in NGOs, but the decrees preventing them from doing so have been issued by the Islamic leader in Kandahar.


– I will travel to Kandahar to meet a representative of the Islamic Council and my message is that this must change as soon as possible. We have days but not weeks. He says people are dying because of these rules.

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