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Press Release – Restricted-access Multistakeholder Conference: Enhancing Unimpeded Delivery of Humanitarian Assistance in Afghanistan

The Swiss Foundation Geneva Call is hosting in Geneva from 7th to 11th February a restricted-access conference aiming at enhancing unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

The country is facing a complex emergency due to past overlapping armed conflicts, COVID-19 and its socio-economic consequences, and extreme weather. Today, 23 million Afghan people are at risk of malnutrition and 97% of the population lives under the poverty level.

Geneva has a secular tradition of negotiations and promotion of the respect of international humanitarian law and has therefore been identified as the most relevant location to hold such humanitarian discussions.

Respect for and promotion of international humanitarian norms are essential for the protection of the Afghan population and can contribute toward peace and stability. Geneva Call has therefore invited the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to a restricted-access conference to discuss the status of humanitarian assistance, the protection of civilians, respect of health care and the issue of landmines and explosive remnants of war in Afghanistan. The conference includes briefings on the applicability of humanitarian norms and thematic group discussions to provide concrete recommendations on how the delivery of humanitarian assistance can lead to better collaboration in country and to the provision of better support to the Afghan people from external contributors.

With a view to strengthen the implementation of- and respect for humanitarian norms in Afghanistan, this closed-door humanitarian event, is facilitating the discussion on practical issues related to improving compliance with humanitarian norms at the national and district levels, the development or adjustment of policies related to safe passage of humanitarian aid, the respect of medical care, and mitigating the impact of landmines on the Afghan population.

Geneva Call is a neutral, impartial, and independent organisation; one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of sustainable humanitarian engagement with a variety of armed organisations in times of armed conflict or other situations of violence, aiming for lasting behavioural change to improve the overall protection of civilians. Geneva Call leads humanitarian engagement with all armed organisations regardless of their political, religious, or economic motivations.

In Afghanistan, Geneva Call is embedded at a district level to promote sustainable dialogue between communities, local authorities, and armed organisations to increase knowledge on humanitarian norms and strengthen protection of civilians and inter-community relations, around the respect for humanitarian norms. Humanitarian engagement does not affect the legal status of engaged actors. It is only a mean to encourage them to abide by humanitarian norms and protect civilians from armed violence.


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