Please see below statement from Refugees International’s Mariam Banahi:
“This week’s 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva takes place against a backdrop of a surge in hostilities and a devastating wave of COVID-19 infections. Displacement and insecurity are on the rise and the outcome of the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha remains uncertain at best.
In a concerning development, donors have signaled that compared to the $15.2 billion pledged in Brussels in 2016, this year’s four-year commitments may be reduced by as much as 15 to 20 percent as governments confront the challenges of COVID-19 at home. Any reduction in aid will have dire consequences – an estimated 90 percent of Afghans live in extreme poverty.
It is important to remember that progress has been made in Afghanistan – progress worth defending. Women enjoy far more rights in Afghanistan today than they did twenty years ago. With greater numbers of women joining the workforce, continued international support will help ensure their meaningful inclusion.
If donors are to help protect these gains, they will need to recommit to Afghanistan by pledging generously in Geneva this week. The future of millions of Afghans depends on it.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Sarah Sheffer at email@example.com or +1 202 540 7029.