Response to the humanitarian needs in Afghanistan

 Executive summary  

The ICRC and the International Federation are deeply concerned with the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. For the time being the priority is to assess the medical needs throughout the country, to have access to the rural areas where many people have sought refuge during the last weeks and re-establish a full scale operation that will include protection activities for the civilian population and the persons detained. It is equally important under the current situation of transition throughout the country, to remind all the parties of their obligations to respect International Humanitarian Law.

The ICRC and the International Federation have established that the ICRC assumes the function of Lead Agency of the international relief operation in Afghanistan and exercises the general and specific responsibilities of that function as provided for in the Seville agreement.

The International Federation's contribution to the operation   will place a special emphasis on the reconstitution of the Afghan Red Crescent Society , the organisation and development of its human resources to participate in programmes and to improve the operational systems and procedures related to the management of their activities.   With regards to operational involvement, the ICRC has also requested the International Federation   to ass ume the responsibility for the clinics programme , implemented together with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, including eventual supplementary feeding in these clinics as may be deemed necessary. Furthermore, the International Federation will also continue to provide relief assistance to the population affected by the drought in some parts of Afghanistan, in close coordination with the ICRC.

Concerning the involvement of National Societies from other countries in the operation in Afghanistan, the ICRC is presently assessing the security situation in order to determine whether a direct operational involvement in the form of project delegations can be considered. Therefore, no project delegations will be presented to National Societies at this early stage.  

In case you need complementary information regarding the international relief operation in Afghanistan, you can address your queries to the following persons:

 ICRC  

Christophe Luedi - Email: cluedi.gva@icrc.org

Beate Marischen - Email: bmarischen@icrc.org

    

 International Federation  

Kalle Löövi - Email: loovi@ifrc.org

 
go to top of page
 
 
 

 Joint statement on the Movement's response  

 to the humanitarian needs in Afghanistan  

    

 Geneva, 20 November 2001  

The ICRC and the International Federation are deeply concerned with the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. For the time being the priority is to assess the medical needs throughout the country, to have access to the rural areas  where many people have sought refuge during the last weeks and re-establish a full scale operation that will include protection activities for the civilian population and the persons detained. It is equally important under the current situation of transition throughout the country, to remind all the parties of their obligations to respect International Humanitarian Law.

The ICRC and the International Federation agree that the situation calls for the combined efforts of all components of the Movement to respond with speed and flexibility to the needs of the victims in need of humanitarian protection and assistance and have reached a rapid agreement on their intervention in the region.

The ICRC and the International Federation have established that the ICRC assumes the function of Lead Agency of the international relief operation in Afghanistan and exercises the general and specific responsibilities of that function as provided for in the Seville agreement.

Plans of action with respective budgets have been elaborated by the ICRC and the International Federation for the international relief operation and the two institutions will be ensuring a coordinated approach to the work in Afghanistan. Appeals will be launched and managed by each institution in a closely coordinated manner. Previous plans drawn up are to be considered and adapted on the basis of latest developments and of an overall needs'assessment. Priorities are already being established and responsibilities for implementation by each component are being clarified.

 The International Federation's contribution to the operation will place a special emphasis on the reconstitution of the Afghan Red Crescent Society , the organisation and development of its human resources to participate in programmes which aim at meeting the humanitarian needs and to improve the operational and on the administrative systems and procedures of the National Society related to the management of their activities.

    

 With regards to operational involvement, the ICRC has also requested the International Federation to assume the responsibility for the clinics programme , implemented together with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, including eventual supplementary feeding in these clinics as may be deemed necessary. Furthermore, the International Federation will also continue to provide relief assistance to the population affected by the drought in some parts of Afghanistan , in close coordination with the ICRC.

The International Federation continues to support the operating National Societies in neighbouring countries both in their capacity building to respond in emergencies and in the assistance programmes to provide vital support to the most vulnerable among the Afghan refugees and to allow them to prepare to return to their homes.

Concerning the involvement of National Societies from other countries in the operation in Afghanistan, the ICRC is presently assessing the security situation in order to determine whether a direct operational involvement in the form of project delegations can be considered. Therefore, no project delegations will be presented to National Societies at this early stage.

Regarding the security of personnel of various components of the Movement involved in the operation, the ICRC, as Lead Agency to the operation, will seek to apply the guidelines issued in early 2001 in this regard. However, National Societies are invited to support the operation in Afghanistan now, especially with resources in cash, kind and personnel.

The complex political and security situation in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries requires special attention to the areas of information and communication. In accordance with the Seville Agreement and the subsequent communication's'policy agreed by both institutions, the ICRC will act as the main spokesman concerning the international relief operation in Afghanistan. The International Federation will do the same for the operation in Pakistan and other neighbouring countries which may have a new operation in favour of refugees from Afghanistan.

In case you need complementary information regarding the international relief operation in Afghanistan, you can address your queries to the following persons:

    

 ICRC  

Christophe Luedi - Email: cluedi.gva@icrc.org

Beate Marischen - Email: bmarischen@icrc.org

    

 International Federation  

Kalle Löövi - Email: loovi@ifrc.org

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all National Societies for their keen interest and solidarity shown towards the victims of the crisis in Afghanistan. The challenge to our Movement remains the rapid, coherent and efficient response, in a coordinated manner, to the tremendous humanitarian needs in the whole region.

 Jean-Michel Monod  

Delegate General for Asia and Latin America - ICRC

 Kalle Löövi  

Head of Operations (Asia and Europe)

Disaster Management and Coordination Division -

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies