ICRC, WHO Halt Activities Due To Taliban’s Threat
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have stopped their activities in Afghanistan as they have been threatened by the Taliban, officials of the two organizations confirmed.
Taliban in a statement on Friday announced that the ICRC and WHO cannot operate in the areas under their influence until further notice.
The group said the two organizations have not put into practice the commitments they made to the group.
WHO warns that the Taliban’s move will put negative impacts on healthcare services of the organization to vulnerable people in Afghanistan.
Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman of WHO said they are worried about banning of their activities insisting that they want all the warring parties to maintain security of healthcare personnel.
“Obviously, we are concerned that this will negatively impact delivery of health services to the affected population. We know that unhinded access to all areas is necessary to provide health services to those in need,” said Jasarevic.
Officials from the ICRC, meanwhile, said they are in talks with the Taliban to resolve the problem and resume activities.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior said the Afghan security forces are committed to ensuring the safety of the ICRC and WHO staff members.
“The ICRC is a charity and impartial organization, but the enemy of the Afghan people once again proved that they ban all the humanitarian and charity activities. We will always cooperate with them in maintaining their security,” the Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said.
The ICRC operates in Afghanistan for over the past 30 years and the committees’ activities are mostly focused on providing assistance to war prisoners and war victims.
The WHO provides polio vaccination services to children as well as it provides other healthcare services to Afghans around the country.