The House of Commons' International Development Committee (IDC) has this week released an extensive report analysing the distribution of UK aid in Afghanistan, the treatment of Afghan and British aid workers stationed in the country, and the effectiveness of Afghan refugee resettlement schemes following the Taliban takeover last August.

This report (released in March) recognised the long-term systemic issues that contributed to the crises currently impacting Afghanistan, including climate change and natural disasters, and the consequences of 40 years of conflict and instability. The report noted how the withdrawal of large portions of international aid and the freezing of Afghan national assets has been a significant barrier to ensuring the people of Afghanistan are adequately supported by the international community. Sanctions have pushed the country’s healthcare system to collapse: currently facing six disease outbreaks in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, placing a huge strain on the population. Healthcare workers are also currently delivering assistance unpaid. The number of people needing humanitarian assistance has risen to 24.4 million, with half the population facing acute hunger.

The report concluded that whilst the uplift in UK aid to Afghanistan is welcome, such funds have not been dispersed swiftly enough, and that the UK government must work in collaboration with its international counterparts to find a solution to the freeze on Afghan national assets, in a bid to help ease the hardship millions of people are facing. Our trustee Elizabeth Winter told the committee: “It is sanctions that have made life almost intolerable”

The IDC also recognised the vital work carried out by Afghan aid workers operating to fulfil British aid obligations, and stressed that current resettlement schemes must be expanded to include these men and women, if they should choose to leave Afghanistan.

The Committee emphasised that the Government “has a moral duty towards aid workers who have helped to deliver UK aid projects in Afghanistan. It also has a moral duty towards the people of Afghanistan.”

Read the Government's response to this report here.

Despite persisting challenges, Afghanaid has never stopped delivering emergency assistance to men, women and children across Afghanistan. Since August, we have reached over 974,970 people with humanitarian support, including food packages to 89,513 families, supplementary food to treat malnutrition for 85,879 babies and young children, and cash for necessities to over 16,000 families. Your support enables us to continue this vital work. Thank you. 

Did you like this post? Sign up and we’ll send you more stories like this, straight into your inbox.