Eleven Afghans connected to a USAID-funded project have been killed this week in two separate attacks as violence against humanitarian aid workers is escalating daily. Five Afghans working for the US company Chemonics International were killed Wednesday in Helmud Province, according to the Associated Press. Within just 24 hours, six more Afghans with connections to Chemonics International were killed in the southern province of Kabul by suspected Taliban militants, AP reports.
Chemonics International is working in Afghanistan on irrigation projects focused on providing alternative crops for farmers who are growing poppies. A spokeswoman for the company said that they are “assessing the situation” to determine if they will continue their work in Afghanistan, according to BBC News.
Meanwhile, a man who claims to have kidnapped an Italian CARE International employee earlier this week is now saying that he killed her, but Afghan officials deny the claim, according to Reuters.
A report released this month by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) and CARE raises serious concerns about staff working in the field in Afghanistan. According to the report, “NGO Insecurity in Afghanistan,” “the unprecedented number” of fatalities among workers for non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian assistance is impacting their ability to reach those who need assistance. The report concludes that “NGO insecurity is linked to wider, prevalent insecurity across Afghanistan. Unless and until this wider insecurity is addressed, NGO staff will continue to be a target, making it difficult to reach all those in need.”
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .