Development News from Afghanistan

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Red Crescent calls for closer cooperation with UN, donors

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KABUL, 29 November 2007 (IRIN) – The growing humanitarian needs of Afghans must come ahead of political and strategic priorities and the UN and other international donors ought to “better recognise” the pivotal role of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) when dealing with humanitarian emergencies in Afghanistan, Fatima Gailani, president of the ARCS, told IRIN on 29 November.

Lack of resources, funding and professional capacity has complicated ARCS’s ability to respond effectively to overwhelming humanitarian needs across the country.

“Afghanistan’s humanitarian response capacity has remained very weak and vulnerable despite large amounts of aid money spent by various donors,” Gailani said.

Established in the 1940s, the ARCS has about 37,000 volunteers country-wide and is involved in different humanitarian operations, including health services, landmine awareness, disaster response and relief activities.

The ARCS acknowledges support and assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the past 15 years, but criticises the UN for lack of “interest, coordination and support”.

“In the last three years, the UN has not approached the ARCS to see if there are things which we do better together,” Gailani said.

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Written by afghandevnews

November 29, 2007 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Aid, Development

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