Afghanistan at a glance

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The crisis and the response

  • Several key actors are reluctant to acknowledge evidence of the extent of the humanitar ian crisis: increased insecurity, high displacement (at least 297,000 IDPs and 2.89 million refugees), growing food insecurity and disrespect for human rights, especially of women and girls.
  • 2009 was the worst year for civilian casualties since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.
  • Accessing the needs of affected populations is difficult, as more areas become no-go zones.
  • All major OECD/DAC donors (with the exception of Switzerland and Ireland) have shaped their aid support on the flawed assumption Afghanistan is a post-conflict country.
  • Donors funded 76 percent of the 2009 HAP target of US$665 million. Outside the appeal, donors provided an additional US$145 million.
  • OCHA reopened in Afghanistan in 2009 and set up an Emergency Response Fund.
  • Many humanitarian organisations were frustrated by continued use of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), which compromise impartiality and neutrality.

Donor performance

  • Politicisation of the crisis has violated principles of impartiality and neutrality and made humanitarian intervention difficult and dangerous.
  • The least funded cluster is health followed by nutrition, an inadequate response to protection in a country with some of the world’s worst health and nutrition indicators.
  • The same donors who call for greater transparency and accountability are consistently violating their own professed principles.

Key challenges and areas for improvement

  • Humanitarian workers must act to distinguish themselves from military personnel.
  • Donors must recognise the true scope of the humanitarian crisis and encourage separation of humanitarian response from military activities.
  • All conflict protagonists must be encouraged to respect humanitarian principles of independence and neutrality.
  • Donors must empower civil society and ensure aid is allocated only after thorough analysis of community needs and capacities.

Afghanistan Crisis Report HRI 2010 (1.52 Mb)

Afghanistan at a glance

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