Impending drawdown in Kabul: The aid community’s concerns

Security and dwindling aid are not the only concerns of nongovernmental organizations working in Afghanistan.

International NGOs fear that growing insecurity in the country, matched with aid cuts, may force local workers to leave the country, IRIN reports. Afghan staff members, meanwhile, have become increasingly concerned about the potential security risks to themselves and their families.

This spells trouble for aid work on the ground, especially with the growing number of internally displaced people in Afghanistan.

A total of 91,000 people were displaced by conflict in the country between January and June 2011, according to a report by Amnesty International, up 117 percent compared with the previous corresponding period. Threats from Iran and Pakistan to expel Afghan refugees could exacerbate the problem.

Local workers leaving could also significantly affect strategies by some NGOs to rely on community-based approaches in the event international aid workers leave. An aid worker, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IRIN that NGOs are reviewing their activities and “going through a lot of assessments right now.”

All these troubles are triggered by the impending drawdown of foreign military troops from Afghanistan in 2014. Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, is also rumored to leave his post this May. The White House, according to Reuters, is considering replacing him with James Cunningham, the current U.S deputy ambassador for Kabul.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.