ACBAR is shocked and strongly condemns the recent attack on NGO offices in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province on Wednesday 24 January. It has been reported that there is a loss of at least 7 lives, more than 31 people injured, including five children. On behalf of its members, ACBAR would like to pass sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this attack.
ACBAR also fully supports a rapid, independent and transparent investigation into how and why this incident occurred.
“It is of the upmost importance that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are able to carry out their work in the country on behalf of their beneficiaries with the assurance that their personnel, their property and their activities will not be attacked”, states Fiona Gall, Director of ACBAR.
This is not an isolated incident. Attacks on humanitarian workers are a common occurrence in Afghanistan. Over the last year, there have been 156 attacks on aid workers committed by actors involved in the current conflict. This includes 17 aid workers who have been killed as they attempted to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance including food, safe drinking water and healthcare to those most in need.
ACBAR calls on all parties in the Afghanistan to respect the neutrality of NGOs, their staff and their facilities, as well as to respect the principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which provides protection to aid workers and civilians.
Any attack, intimidation, violence or threat against aid workers will ultimately result in delays in implementation of programmes and will cause a negative impact on the welfare of the people of Afghanistan.
Kabul, 25 January 2018