New York, NY, August 26, 2021 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) deplores the increasing violence outside Kabul airport, including American and Afghan casualties in suicide bomb attacks, shots fired at departing airplanes, and increasing chaos making it all but impossible to approach the airport to access evacuation operations. We offer sincere condolences to the bereaved families, and call for international cooperation to uphold international law.
In response to the recent violence at Kabul airport, David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said: “Today’s attacks on Kabul airport signifies a new level of danger in Afghanistan. We are horrified by the deaths and mayhem and offer the sincerest condolences to the bereaved families. We reiterate our urgent call for support for at-risk Afghans, alongside diplomatic and humanitarian engagement in support of efforts to assist the population. The 31st August has been set as a deadline for the US military effort; it cannot be the deadline for seeking to help Afghans, whether they are seeking to leave or are staying in the country.
“Humanitarian leadership is more critical than ever. The IRC calls on all world leaders, including the United States, UK, the European Union, and the UN to marshal all available resources at their disposal to ensure the protection of at-risk persons on the ground, to ensure aid workers have unfettered access to the communities who remain, and to use their influence to draw humanitarian cooperation and support from countries in the region. With more than 500,000 people displaced this year, including at least 230,000 over the last two months, it is imperative that all Afghans who wish to do so are granted safe passage out of the country. Those who remain will require extensive humanitarian support.
“The situation makes ongoing diplomatic representation, led by the UN, all the more important. IRC is determined to continue its more than thirty years of work in Afghanistan, and is proud of its 1700 Afghan aid workers who make such a difference to their own communities."
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.