The Swiss Foundation Geneva Call hosted in Geneva from 7th to 11th February a humanitarian conference on Afghanistan aiming at enhancing unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population.
Geneva Call has invited a delegation from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) led by the Ministry of Health 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 with its experts on International Humanitarian Law and the Representatives of the aid and humanitarian donor community. At the end of the conference, the IEA signed a conference statement and declared:
- To facilitate principled humanitarian action in Afghanistan and to ensure the protection of humanitarian workers and aid;
- To promote the full respect and protection of health care facilities, transports and staff, including female workers;
- To cooperate in and undertake stockpile destruction, mine clearance, victim assistance and mine risk awareness;
- To promote the protection of the environment and cultural heritage through public campaigns and other activities;
- To protect all Afghans, including by providing, protecting and facilitating the continuation of their education.
This conference and statement represent a step towards enhanced protection of civilians in Afghanistan, acknowledging that needs are dire and that increased support and collaboration is needed to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan population. Geneva Call will continue building on these developments towards increasing respect for humanitarian norms, acknowledging the role it can continue to play in enhancing the protection of civilians 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 Call is a swiss humanitarian foundation striving to increase knowledge and compliance of armed organisations with humanitarian norms. Since 2018, Geneva Call works in Afghanistan to ensure that civilians are better protected from the adverse effects of armed violence.
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.
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