As the latest chapter unfolds in Afghanistan’s decades-long struggle with conflict, the aid agency CARE is committed to staying in the country and continuing its lifesaving work.
CARE has worked alongside communities in Afghanistan since 1961 as a trusted provider of humanitarian assistance.
CARE Australia CEO, Peter Walton, says: “throughout our decades working in Afghanistan, CARE’s Afghan and international staff have remained committed to supporting the country’s most vulnerable people, with a mission that transcends any one party or government.”
However CARE is concerned that hard-won gains, particularly for women and girls, may disappear.
“Big progress has been made over the past 20 years in the growth of women and girls’ rights and opportunities. Our genuine hope is that none of these rights regress or disappear,” Mr Walton said.
With more than 18 million people in need of humanitarian assistance even before the events of 15 August, Afghanistan is one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world.
The combination of poverty, drought and armed conflict is particularly dangerous for women and girls, with early and forced marriages likely to increase.
“While the world watches and waits to see what unfolds, humanitarian needs are mounting. Time is of the essence, yet the international community has mobilised just 38% of the resources requested to provide lifesaving support,” Mr Walton said.
“We cannot turn our backs on the women, girls, and vulnerable communities of Afghanistan at this time.”