INGOs cease operations in Afghanistan in protest

KABUL (SW) – Thousands of people have lost their jobs as a number of international nongovernmental organisations suspended operations operations in Afghanistan in protest against the Islamic Emirate’s move of not allowing their female staff to work.

According to the statistics compiled by Salam Watandar, following the suspension of the activities of four international organizations, including the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Care Institute, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and MMR, their employees across Afghanistan, which number 11,441 have stopped working. Among them, 4,373 are women.

Following the suspension of the activities of the Norwegian Refugee Council, 1,541 employees of this institution, including 469 women, have lost jobs. Helen Sandbo Ring, one of the employees of this council, told Salam Watandar that the organization planned to provide services to 700,000 vulnerable and needy people in the coming year, which is now in doubt.

“We are very worried about this and we hope to be able to resume our activities as soon as possible. We hope that a solution will be found. However, we, our employees and those we serve, are deeply concerned about what the future holds.”

The Care International is one of the other organizations that suspended its activities after the Islamic Emirate stopped  women from working. This institution had nearly 900 employees in nine provinces of Afghanistan, of which 38% (342 women) were women.

Rishma Azmi, the deputy director, told Salaam Watandar: “Our female colleagues are professional in humanitarian affairs. They have dedicated their careers to help Afghans in need. For this reason, we now stand firmly by their side.”

In the same way, the International Rescue Committee, by announcing the suspension of its activities in Afghanistan, has said that 8,000 employees of this institution, including 3,000 women, have stayed at home.

Meanwhile, a source from the international organization “MMRCA” says that this organization has also stopped its activities in Afghanistan. This organization, with more than one thousand employees, including 562 women, was active in the field of children’s and women’s rights.

Temkin Danesh, one of the employees of the “MMRCA” organization, says: “This is just the figures of one of the institutions. If we see this in several institutions, a large number of women have become unemployed, which is beyond imagination and belief.”

Analysts say that stopping the activities of these institutions and their employees staying at home will lead to a decrease in the income of families, increase in poverty, not taking care of the situation of vulnerable people and the destruction of the field of reflecting the correct information about the poverty situation in Afghanistan.

Mazaher Raiszada, a researcher of regional strategic studies, says: “This situation has a great loss on the country’s economy, it causes an increase in unemployment and a fall in national income, as well as a decrease in supply and demand in the market and people fleeing the country.”