AFGHANISTAN (August 14, 2008) – We are saddened and dismayed by the murders of four International Rescue Committee (IRC) employees in Afghanistan. Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous and volatile countries for aid workers, with hundreds killed since the United States went to war there in 2001. Yet, dedicated men and women continue to devote themselves to the humanitarian imperative to help people – especially children – survive and make progress in the impoverished country.
CARE stands with the IRC and other humanitarian agencies in honoring the aid workers who lost their lives and in condemning the continuing violence and destruction in Afghanistan. We call on the international community to renew its commitment to protecting civilians and humanitarian space. Without safe passage, aid groups cannot continue to help the people of Afghanistan meet their basic needs in the face soaring food prices, an anemic economy, and still inadequate infrastructure.
“When the lines are blurred between military operations and the provision of humanitarian assistance, aid workers’ lives are jeopardized. It needs to be clear that aid workers are non-partisan, non sectarian, and not an arm of any government. Humanitarian workers are in Afghanistan only to help people meet basic needs and lift themselves out of poverty,” said Jamie Terzi, acting country director in Afghanistan. CARE has worked in Afghanistan for 30 years with the exception of a brief break during the country’s war with Russia.
Two of the women who were killed were Canadians who worked for CARE before joining the IRC. They were highly regarded and respected for their dedication to making the world a better place. We extend our condolences to their families and to the families of the other humanitarians who died in the attack.
About CARE: Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women. Women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s emergency relief efforts because our experience shows that their gains translate into benefits for families and communities.«All Press Releases