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It has been nearly a month since Taliban authorities banned women from working for national and international NGOs, which led to the suspension of Action Against Hunger’s non-vital activities in the country.
Today, the organization announced that it is gradually resuming the work of its mobile clinics in Badakhshan, Daykundi, Ghor, and Helmand, regions where access to health care is limited.
Despite the suspension of most of our activities, Action Against Hunger has maintained operations in two lifesaving nutrition treatment centers in Helmand province. This was possible due to an exemption from the Afghanistan Ministry of Health allowing women to continue to work in medical facilities.
“This exemption permitted all of our staff, male and female, to continue running our vital activities. Today, we are now gradually resuming the operations of our mobile clinics in areas where health services are extremely limited,” says Samy Guessabi, Director of Action Against Hunger in Afghanistan.
Currently, two of Action Against Hunger’s mobile health teams work with communities in Ghor and Helmand provinces. Our staff provide lifesaving medical care to women and children and ensure community-wide improvements to health and nutrition. The organization’s mobile clinics in Daykundi and Badakhshan plan to reopen as soon as possible.
With limited permanent health centers in rural communities, mobile clinics are a vital lifeline, allowing humanitarian workers to provide essential health services to people in hard-to-reach areas. In serious cases of malnutrition, the mobile teams refer severely ill children and women to hospitals.
“For nearly 30 years, women have been an important pillar of our work to fight hunger in Afghanistan. Together with the country’s humanitarian community, we continue to advocate for the Taliban authorities to rapidly put an end to the exclusionary measures for women announced in December. This ban endangers the lives of millions of people in the country,” says Guessabi.
Women’s rights are at the heart of Action Against Hunger’s mission. As the situation in Afghanistan evolves, we will stay committed to achieving gender equity and continue to advocate for accessible health care for all.
Action Against Hunger has worked in Afghanistan since 1995 to improve access to health and nutrition services for vulnerable communities, particularly children under five years old, pregnant women, and women of childbearing age. Between January and July 2022, Action Against Hunger supported nearly 500,000 people through its mobile clinics and therapeutic feeding units in five provinces of the country: Kabul, Daykundi, Helmand, Ghor, and Badakhshan. The organization employs nearly 1,000 staff in the country, including nearly 400 women.
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