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Editorial: Safeguarding aid workers

The primary purpose of humanitarian aid is to save lives, reduce suffering and respect human dignity. Humanitarian agencies have nothing to do with politics as they are engaged in material and logistic assistance to people. It is usually short-term support until the government and other institutions provide the vulnerable people with long-term assistance.

They take steps to provide humanitarian assistance to the needy people including homeless, repatriates, victims of natural disasters, war, food shortages, healthcare services etc…

When there are any humanitarian crises including natural and man-made disasters, the humanitarian agencies are in the frontline to support the victims.

However in Afghanistan, aid agencies are facing immense problems. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) termed insecurity and the ongoing conflict as a core obstacle ahead of its aid delivery to the needy families.

Insecurity and ramp up of conflicts have drastically impeded delivery of humanitarian aids in the country in 2016, the ICRC said. Taking this into account, people were badly suffered, while they were in dire need of help that has been defied due to insecurity. Humanitarian staffers are ready to provide assistants, but insecurity bars them. Despite that, safeguarding of humanitarian aid staffers is the need to quickly meet the problems of the victims of conflict.

Recently, an ICRC worker was abducted in Kunduz province, and of course the abduction had put a negative impact on ICRC aid delivery in the country.

It is up to all involved parties in the conflict to protect aid workers, because it benefits our countrymen. Government and militant outfits should not only restrain creating problems, but also take steps to provide ground for aid workers for that sake of those people who need assistance.

Since the humanitarian organizations are providing assistance in several areas, so healthy services that are also included, is imperative to a better future. With good health, people would be productive at work, care for their families and contribute to strong communities. According to ICRS, it helped tens of thousands of people through medical care, providing limb-fitting and physical rehabilitation services nationwide. All forms of humanitarian assistance are fundamental to all aspects of development in a state like Afghanistan.

Since the ongoing conflict marred humanitarian services in 2016, the government and other related organs should leave no stone unturned to protect aid workers and agencies. Taliban and other militant outfits are also called not to harm aid workers at the line of duty.

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