Overview of the situation and context
Afghanistan has always been a complex place for a humanitarian organization like World Vision, but we have been working there since 2001, affecting more than 6 million lives. For 20 years, World Vision Afghanistan has worked to meet the enormous, life-saving humanitarian needs caused by conflict, climate change and other disasters. We have worked to protect girls and boys, provide them with education, promote better health and sanitation, and help create livelihoods.
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban took control of Kabul and imposed themselves as the holders of power over the whole country. This change has had a significant impact on the operations of all international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in the country, including World Vision Afghanistan.
The period immediately after the takeover was called ‘watch and react’, as World Vision Afghanistan was unsure what new regime and systems would be in place and whether humanitarian space would be given to INGOs. We also have many questions about the safety of our staff, the well-being of the children and families we serve, and what would happen to the rights of women and girls.
Just after the event of August 15, 2021,
World Vision along with other organizations, coordinated by the United Nations, had to freeze all operations to ensure that the humanitarian space was secure, that women could operate as they did before, and that no additional requirements nor interference by the de facto authorities would be imposed. . Regardless of having to make the difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations, World Vision has always been committed to “stay and deliver”, as our sole focus has always been to continue to serve children and their families in the four western regions of the country. Afghanistan where we operate.
On August 23, 2021, World Vision declared the Global Category III Response for Afghanistan (WV-ACER) and put in place all the necessary expertise to ensure that the lifesaving humanitarian response would be on track and carried out effectively. World Vision Afghanistan was ready to operate again, with great support from the regional office, support offices and donor entities. Alongside active operations on the ground, strong advocacy and communication efforts have been put in place to better understand the real needs of children and their families. These combined efforts have brought increased funding that has enabled World Vision Afghanistan to do more work and cover wider needs and geographic locations.
Six months after the WV-ACER statement, World Vision in Afghanistan has touched over one million lives with lifesaving humanitarian assistance. The context continues to be very difficult for INGOs to operate in, with constant changes in terms of security, humanitarian space, staffing shortages and funding limitations such as sanctions.
The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan continues to deepen and expand, with more than 24.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance to survive. Six months on, World Vision continues to call on donors to fully fund the humanitarian response plan across all sectors. This must ensure the inclusion of women in humanitarian personnel and respond to the specific needs of women, girls and people with disabilities. We also call on all parties to remove obstacles to the continued delivery of principled humanitarian and development assistance to people in need, and not to impede the provision of essential private sector services. to Afghanistan, including banking services, vital imports and humanitarian supplies.