UN: Some programs halted over ban on women Aid workers

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The United Nations in a statement said that some agencies in Afghanistan have stopped their activities and warned that some other programs will also halt their operations because of the Islamic Emirate’s decision to ban women from working in non-governmental organizations.

UN’s Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Afghanistan in a statement said that banning women from working in humanitarian non-governmental organizations is a major blow to vulnerable communities, women, children, and the country.

The committee added that women are teachers, nutrition experts, team leaders, community health workers, vaccinators, nurses, doctors, and heads of organizations, and have access to populations that male employees cannot reach, their participation in aid delivery is not negotiable and must continue, some organization for lack of female staff has to pause their activities.

“We foresee that many activities will need to be paused as we cannot deliver principled humanitarian assistance without female aid workers,” the committee said.

The UN committee urged the Islamic Emirate to reverse the ban on women’s schools, universities and work.

Meanwhile, foreign ministries of 12 countries, including the US and the UK, in a statement expressed grave concern about the Islamic Emirate’s decision to bar women from working in NGOs. They said that the decision puts at risk millions of Afghans who depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival.

“NGOs will be unable to reach the country’s most vulnerable people to provide food, medicine, winterization, and other materials and services they need to live, this would also affect the humanitarian assistance provided by international organizations, as international organizations utilize NGOs to deliver such materials and services,” the statement said.

They called on the Islamic Emirate to reverse immediately their decision to ban women from working in NGOs.

According to international organizations, over 28 million people in Afghanistan, including millions of women and children, require assistance to survive as the country grapples with the risk of famine conditions, economic decline, entrenched poverty and a brutal winter.—Tolo news