NGOs Urge NATO to Take Immediate Steps to Improve Security in Afghanistan
The International Rescue Committee and more than 50 other humanitarian, human rights and civil society organizations are urging NATO member nations to intensify their efforts to improve security in Afghanistan.
The NGOs sent a joint letter to the heads of state of NATO's members, in advance of the summit that will be held in Istanbul June 28-29, saying the NATO-led International Security Force has failed to provide security in most of the country.
George Rupp, president of the International Rescue Committee, one of the letter's signatories, says, “NATO must move swiftly to address the extreme insecurity in Afghanistan so that the September elections can be held without interference and so that reconstruction of the country can continue. To make this happen, NATO needs to deploy security forces beyond Kabul and Konduz, at least until Afghanistan finishes establishing its own national police and army.”
Rupp says the deteriorating security is hampering humanitarian aid efforts. “The IRC provides extensive rehabilitation and community development assistance in Afghanistan. But violence continues to interrupt access to people in need.”
In the letter, the NGOs say NATO should use the Istanbul conference to announce meaningful steps to address the security situation in Afghanstan. Specific plans “would demonstrate NATO's firm commitment to overcoming real security threats, not just in Afghanistan, but around the world.”
Click here to read the full text of the letter and the list of signatory organizations.
For more information, contact:
Sandra Mitchell / 202-822-0166, ext. 10/ sandram@theIRC.org