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Terre des Hommes stays in Afghanistan to support children and their families

August 18th, 2021

Terre des Hommes Lausanne will remain in Afghanistan to continue providing assistance to children and their families. This was announced today by our Swiss Terre des Hommes member organisation.

'The withdrawal of many NGOs further endangers the lives of civilians, reducing access to vital medical assistance and driving them into exile'

Lausanne - On Sunday, the 15th August, the Taliban took over Kabul. ‘Our colleagues and the population are stunned, the fear and insecurity in the city are tangible’. Terre des hommes Lausanne has a long-term experience since 1995 in this context and will give everything to continue supporting and protecting displaced children and their families.

For decades now, Afghanistan has been plagued by civil war, conflict, and disasters such as earthquakes and droughts. In 2020, COVID-19 has placed an additional burden on the population, overwhelming health services. The country is under the control of the Taliban, who had launched a military offensive since the start of the withdrawal of US troops. Since May 2021, more than 250,000 Afghans have fled their homes in search of a safe area to protect their families, 80% of the displaced are children and women. Children represent 32% of all civilian casualties in the first half of 2021. Terre des Hommes urges all actors to refrain from violence against children, especially against girls.

Afghanistan’s children deserve a future

The withdrawal of many NGOs further endangers the lives of civilians, reducing access to vital medical assistance and driving them into exile. An emergency team of TdH Lausanne is present in Kabul, to assess, together with other organisations, the most urgent needs of the population and to support the displaced children and their families. The other Terre des Hommes activities in the field are on hold for the moment, to account for our staff’s safety until the security situation stabilises. “Having provided care to pregnant women and babies in remote areas, we see how much that help matters”, explains Jezerca Tigani, operations manager for the Middle East and North Africa. What worries Terre des Hommes the most is whether the female staff will be able to continue working.

Jezerca Tigani concludes: “Afghanistan is a country with a sad history. I met some wonderful people. Its children deserve a future and we can all play our part in building their future”.

Read the complete statement on the website of TdH Lausanne

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