The Status of Humanitarian and Protection Efforts in Afghanistan
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the evolving humanitarian situation and need for civilian protection in Afghanistan.
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is rapidly deteriorating. Before recent events, an estimated 18.4 million people in Afghanistan required humanitarian assistance, a doubling since last year. At least 500,000 people have already been displaced in 2021, surpassing last year’s nearly 380,000 displacements. Due to conflict in some areas and general uncertainty throughout the country, harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure is likely to worsen, generating widespread and long-term impacts. Without a sufficient response, Afghans will be forced to resort to extremes to survive. Experience shows children will be taken out of school and sent to work, cases of child marriage will increase to reduce household expenses, and the risks of mistreatment and gender-based violence for women and girls under Taliban control will rise. As needs on the ground increase, aid workers themselves will be at risk. Afghanistan had become the deadliest country in the world for aid workers with 25 deaths this year, and the security situation may further deteriorate. Meanwhile, bureaucratic constraints also threaten aid operations at a time when they need to scale up.
Representatives from three international non-governmental agencies with decades of experience in Afghanistan — the International Rescue Committee, the Danish Refugee Council and the Norwegian Refugee Council — will provide updates on the latest developments on the ground, discuss challenges to providing humanitarian aid and services and ensuring civilian protection, and identify areas where congressional engagement could play a critical role. These agencies also form part of the Asia Displacement Solutions Platform (ADSP), a platform dedicated to pursuing durable solutions for Afghan refugees and other displaced populations.
This virtual briefing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. To attend, please register here. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Co-Chair McGovern) or Piero Tozzi (for Co-Chair Smith). For help with registration or technical support, please contact Matt McLaughlin of the TLHRC staff.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
- Vicki Aken, Country Director, Afghanistan, International Rescue Committee
- Astrid Sletten, Country Director, Afghanistan, Norwegian Refugee Council
- Jared Rowell, Country Director, Afghanistan, Danish Refugee Council
- Rhoda Margesson, Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy, Congressional Research Service
- OHCHR, "Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan," August 24, 2021
- ACAPS, "Afghanistan: Humanitarian Impact and Trends Analysis: Executive Summary," August 23, 2021
- UNICEF, "Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on Children in Afghanistan," August 23, 2021
- USAID Fact Sheet, "Afghanistan - Complex Emergency," August 20, 2021
- Congressional Research Service, "U.S. Military Withdrawal and Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan: Frequently Asked Questions," August 20, 2021
- United Nations, "The United Nations Intends to Remain in Afghanistan," August 18, 2021
- UNHCR, "Statement by Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on Afghanistan," August 19, 2021
- United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, "Afghanistan: Protection of civilians in Armed Conflict - Midyear Update 1 January to 30 June 2021," July 2021
- UNOCHA, "Afghanistan: Joint Operating Principles, Ensuring the Delivery of Principled Humanitarian Assistance," August 2021