In Afghanistan, Troops Withdrawal Not Expected to Adversely Affect NGO Security

A member of U.S. Army plays with children in Afghanistan. Photo by: Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr. / The. U.S. Army / CC BY

The planned withdrawal of U.S. and U.K. troops from Afghanistan will not adversely affect non-governmental organizations working in the Asian country and may even contribute to the widening of the humanitarian space there, according to the head of the Afghan NGO Safety Office.

“Any form of de-escalation, demilitarization will always be beneficial to the humanitarian environment,” Nic Lee said in an interview with Reuters. “In the longer term, it may actually mean that the humanitarian space will increase with the departure of troops, that’s absolutely a possibility.”

Lee further noted that the “Taliban are not anti-NGO.” He said NGOs and the militant group have had “positive interactions where they have even asked for the expansion of programmes and they made it perfectly clear that they understand what NGOs are.”

The ANSO executive director did note that the level of conflict in Afghanistan has escalated “phenomenally” in the last five years, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.