It’s been quite a month for those of us following the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. On February 3, the New York Times exposed one of the terrible tragedies of this year’s abnormally harsh winter: the deaths of at least 24 children in Kabul’s IDP settlements. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, Michael Keating, was quoted as saying, “I just don’t think the humanitarian story is sufficiently understood here.
Happy New Year, from all of us at Refugees International! Before we start tackling the challenges of 2012 – and there will be many – we bring you a brief wrap-up of all things RI from the year gone by.
First, "RI in 2011: By the Numbers":
For the last two weeks, my colleagues have reflected on global efforts to combat violence against women and girls, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Today, I want to examine a vital and practical solution to the problem of gender violence: the engagement of men and boys.
Monday’s early morning attack on the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) came as a shock to the humanitarian community – shock quickly followed by concerns UNHCR might be forced to halt its important work assisting displaced Afghans.
The initial car bomb destroyed a shared wall between UNHCR’s guesthouse and the compound of International Relief and Development (IRD), a nonprofit aid provider. The attackers then entered UNHCR’s compound and killed three of its guards. While Afghan National Police (ANP) eventually responded, hours went by before the attackers were killed.
This post originally appeared on The Hill's Congress blog.
I arrived in Afghanistan last week with my Refugees International colleagues to assess the needs of displaced people in this war-torn country. This is my first visit to Afghanistan, and it defies expectations.
It has been a big week for those of us working on Pakistan. New attention on the intensely fractured relationship between the US and Pakistan has led to questions about the fate of current and planned aid packages- with emphasis on the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act (or the Kerry-Lugar Act).