Now is the time to act to give Afghan children the future they deserve
Chris Nyamandi, Country Director of Save the Children Afghanistan is an eyewitness to the escalating chaos enveloping the country. Here he makes an impassioned plea to support the ordinary Afghan people who did not create this crisis.
"As harrowing footage emerges of children being passed over airport walls by parents in a desperate attempt to flee, many are asking me the same question: What does the future look like for the children who remain in Afghanistan?
It’s a question that has been at the forefront of our minds since Save the Children started working in Afghanistan in 1976 – and one to which the answer now looks painfully uncertain. Last year we reached over 1.6 million Afghans, but now all our operations have been suspended.
What does the future look like for the children who remain in Afghanistan?
Photo: Shkiba MIS officer
Like other NGOs, we are committed to staying and delivering our life-saving work and will resume our activities soon as it is safe to do so.
We have no intention of abandoning the staff, children and communities we have worked with for over four decades. So, our message to the UN, governments and other humanitarian agencies is clear: now is not the time to shirk your obligations to the Afghan people.
Since the end of May alone, the number of people internally displaced by conflict and in need of aid has more than doubled, more than half a million Afghans have been displaced within Afghanistan – over 330,000 of them are children. These families are living outside in the open under tarpaulins, with no access to food or medical care. While many desperately try and get to the airport, shots can be heard overhead.