Impartial Humanitarian Action in Afghanistan Urged

Independent, neutral and impartial humanitarian aid strategy is needed to allow aid groups to broaden their operations in Afghanistan, according to Antonio Donini, former head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Kabul. Security risks have continued to escalate in the nation, greatly limiting the scope of work of humanitarian organizations.

Donini is advocating for a distinct divide between the “political” and the “humanitarian” mandates of the U.N. to help correct preconceived notions about the agency’s role and loyalties.

“The UN is not only UNAMA [UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan]. The UN is also the custodian of the UN Charter, and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and OCHA has been mandated to play an independent, neutral and impartial role in the provision of humanitarian assistance. When there are needs, I think the UN should be more active in engaging with whoever controls the territory,” Donini told IRIN.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.