The International Rescue Committee (IRC) condemns the shocking attack on Halo Trust aid workers at Baghlan province on Tuesday, where 10 humanitarians were killed and 16 others injured. 

Sanna Johnson, Acting Vice President of Programme Delivery, said,

“Our colleagues at the Halo Trust have suffered a grievous loss, and our thoughts are with the families, friends and co-workers of the victims. 

“This moment is an appalling reminder of the dangers faced by humanitarians the world over, especially in Afghanistan, which is one of the most dangerous places for aid workers in the world. In recent years we have witnessed unprecedented violence against humanitarians, human right activists and civilians - barbarous attacks that represent the insidious and dangerous reality for those who dedicate their lives to serve others. 

“Forty years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty and now COVID-19, continue to be a deadly combination for people in Afghanistan. In 2021 alone, nearly half the population are in need of humanitarian assistance. The world cannot afford to turn its back on Afghanistan, and humanitarian workers will continue to provide lifesaving help to those who need it most. The IRC calls upon the international community to take a stand against this brutal violence.

“Aid workers should never be a target of violence, and the attack on Halo trust is an attack on all humanitarians. The IRC condemns this horrific violence and stands in solidarity with Halo trust and all humanitarians.”

The IRC began work in Afghanistan in 1988, launching relief programs for people displaced by the invasion of the Soviet Union. We now work with thousands of villages across nine provinces, with Afghans making up more than 99% of IRC staff in the country. As Afghanistan struggles to recover from ongoing conflict and natural disasters, the IRC: works with local communities to identify, plan and manage their own development projects, provides safe learning spaces in rural areas, community based education, cash distribution provides uprooted families with tents, clean water, sanitation and other basic necessities, and helps people find livelihood opportunities as well as extensive resilience programming.