On Tuesday August 24 under the Presidency of the UK, the G7 met to reaffirm commitment to the Afghan people during this period of insecurity and uncertainty. The G7 Leaders specifically called for calm and restraint to ensure the safety and security of vulnerable Afghan and international citizens and the prevention of a humanitarian crisis.
Less than 48 hours later, we all saw the rapidly evolving and complex situation in Afghanistan take a further dangerous and tragic turn following the suicide bombing in Kabul that resulted in numerous fatalities and injuries.
CFID support the UK Government’s decision to continue all efforts to evacuate people and their families who have provided invaluable assistance to the UK mission over the past twenty years. This evacuation is being carried out by British military and government personal operating in, and in spite of, an increasingly fragile security environment.
The Taliban, who are now claiming to govern the country, have clearly not been able to guarantee the safe passage of those Afghan citizens wishing to leave, nor those citizens of other countries. Thousands of families have been forced to leave their homes over the past few weeks with little access to necessities such as food, shelter or medical care.
We are already hearing reports of children being used as soldiers, of summary executions of those perceived to be collaborators with ‘the West’ and, despite the Taliban leadership’s earlier assurances, of women and girls being forced to stay indoors and denied access to education and basic services.
In short, we may be witnessing serious breaches of the red lines that international humanitarian law seeks to curtail on top of the enormous humanitarian challenges created by the Covid pandemic, the drought and famine affecting much of the country and the continued implosion of the Afghan economy.
CFID call on the UK Government to:
- reaffirm commitment to significantly increase aid and critical support to those NGOs still operating within Afghanistan which seek to protect the hard won but limited rights of vulnerable people, particularly women and girls,
- use its Presidency of the G7 to coordinate international efforts to hold any future Afghan government accountable to international obligations and maintenance of human rights, and
- coordinate with neighbouring countries to support immediate steps to avert a long-term refugee and broader regional humanitarian crisis
The CFID Executive