Insecurity challenge to aid workers: ICRC
KABUL (Pajhwok): Security remains a key challenge for Afghan civilians and aid workers, an international humanitarian organisation said on Wednesday, noting no major improvement in 2013.
"Lack of security remains a critical issue for the population and we have not seen any improvements in 2013," said Gherardo Pontrandolfi, head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan.
Unable to reach health-care centres, civilians were often caught in crossfire, as such facilities were targeted and services disrupted, particularly in remote areas, the official said.
Presidential elections, the ongoing drawdown of foreign forces, the likelihood of reduced donor funding, poverty and high unemployment would continue to haunt Afghanistan, Pontrandolfi warned.
"The future does not look promising," he said in a statement. "The situation for ordinary Afghans as well as for humanitarian workers remains precarious, but we are not packing up and going…”
Last year, the ICRC visited 49,490 detainees, 1,441 of them for the first time, and helped 30 ex-detainees return home. It also distributed clothing, blankets, hygiene items and other essentials to approximately 29,000 detainees.
Besides registering nearly 8,902 new patients including 1,203 amputees, the organisation created job opportunities for more than 10,605 people.
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