Afghan Aid Delivery Threatened as More NGO Workers Killed

Two more aid workers were found murdered in Afghanistan, threatening the delivery of relief to the people in the war-torn country.

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By Eunice Or, Gospel Herald Reporter
December 10, 2005|3:32 pm

Two more aid workers were found murdered in Afghanistan, threatening the delivery of relief to the people in the war-torn country.

The two victims were working for the health project run by the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (CHA), a Christian Aid partner in Afghanistan. They were reportedly kidnapped in July 2005 and no contacts could be made with them since then, according to the statement from the U.K.-based church agency Christian Aid.

On Dec. 4, their bodies were found by their families in the Farah province of Afghanistan. A report issued by CHA showed evidence that the two victims are killed with gunfire before burying in the ground.

Earlier in October, according to Christian Aid, another CHA staff member was murdered and three colleagues wounded by suspected Taliban guerrillas in the north-western province of Faryab.

The rising number of attacks targeted on humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan not only represents the poor security situation, it has also threatens the delivery of relief from aid agencies to people in need.

"These security incidents are preventing us from reaching the poorest people and cutting our involvement with a community whom we have been seeking to serve for a long time," said Dr Mohammed Fareed Waqfi, the head of CHA, according to Christian Aid.

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"The roots we have built with local communities are slowly being cut," Waqfi added.

CHA is not the only group that has been victimized. The medical NGO Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) pulled out of Afghanistan last year after five members were killed.

"The aid community loses more people here than in any other crisis area of the world," a senior representative of the Afghan NGO Safety Office said, according to a BBC report.

Paul Barker, country director for Care International, told the BBC, "The security situation is slowly deteriorating."

In Christian Aid’s statement, Sultan Maqsood Fazil of Christian Aid in Afghanistan said, "If the situation continues to deteriorate or worsen, then it will have serious implications on the quality of our work."

"A CHA member of staff told me that whenever he goes to the field he turns to his colleagues in the office and asks them to forgive him if he does not return alive."

In face of continuous persecution, the Christian-based CARE Canada aid agency has suggested how to resolve the danger, according to an article from Tides Canada in November.

Gail Neudorf, Emergency Director of CARE Canada, explained that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) need to learn to coordinate with their peacekeeping counterparts in conflict zones called Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). However, this could also severely damage the local perception of the neutrality of aid workers, he warned.

Meanwhile, Christian Aid expressed deep concern that there has been an inadequate investigation of the CHA deaths, saying that it would allow even more attacks on NGO staff.

"Christian Aid alongside other British NGOs working in Afghanistan is calling on the U.K. government to ensure that aid money is focused much more on areas that will improve security for Afghans, such as strengthening the police and justice sectors, which are still very weak," the statement concluded.

 

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