ICRC to continue helping war-affected Afghans
KABUL (PAN): The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to providing protection and humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict in Afghanistan.
Gherardo Pontrandolfi, ICRC head of delegation in Kabul, said they would be able to determine the level of humanitarian services to be provided around the country once the ongoing review of last week's attack on its office in Jalalabad was completed.
On May 29, the two-hour assault on the ICRC offices in the eastern city left one of its guards dead and three other staff members injured. It was the first attack of its kind in the country, Pontrandolfi.
Having no idea who was behind the attack, he said: "We are looking into that and we have launched a thorough review, with the aim of discovering why the attack took place. That involves talking to as many people and groups as possible."
He explained the Red Cross, still gathering information and completing its initial analysis, was not suspending all operations in Afghanistan. It would be premature to say what effect the incident would have on their work, he said.
"Across the country, we will be maintaining physical rehabilitation services, medical activities, efforts to maintain contact between separated family members, and certain other activities," the official promised.
Pontrandolfi confirmed the group had temporarily pulled out, as a rapid precautionary measure, some non-Afghan staff. He acknowledged their withdrawal would have an impact on ICRC operations.
"Everyone is very affected by the death of our colleague. Our current focus is the family of Abdul Basher Khan. We have been providing them with all necessary support, both financial and psychological, and will continue to do so," he concluded.
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