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Perspective

As peace talks in Afghanistan move forward, the IRC calls for urgent investment in long-term development

Responding to the peace deal reached between the Taliban and the US Government, possibly paving a way for a significant reduction in violence, Vicki Aken, Afghanistan Country Director for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), said:

“This morning’s attacks highlight the importance of ensuring that all stakeholders are equally involved in peace negotiations. Peace made between the US and the Taliban must also secure peace within the country. Failing to do so puts the lives of everyday Afghan women, children and men at risk. 

“The decades-long conflict in Afghanistan has devastated the lives of more than 9 million Afghans who are in need of humanitarian assistance and forced millions to flee their homes and seek refuge. The IRC welcomes all genuine efforts to reduce violence and pave the way toward sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

“However, real peace in the country cannot just be something negotiated in a foreign capital, it must also be worked out in all of Afghanistan’s 394 districts. Lasting peace must meaningfully include the voices of women, youth, and minority groups. Women and girls, in particular, have made remarkable strides towards reclaiming personal agency in the last two decades; any deal negotiated must not come at the expense of their fundamental rights.

“The IRC is already mobilizing resources to meet the urgent needs of those in areas previously inaccessible to humanitarian agencies due to violence and insecurity. We urge the international community to renew its commitment to maintain a focus on Afghanistan to ensure that peace is supported with adequate resources for every Afghan woman, man, and child to recover, rebuild, and move the country forward for the long-term.”

The IRC has been working in Afghanistan since 1988 providing aid to the most vulnerable. With more than 1,700 staff and volunteers, the IRC reaches more than a million Afghans each year with education, protection, water and sanitation, emergency response, and economic recovery programs. 

About the IRC

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.