Zovko: further humanitarian aid to Afghanistan should be conditional on lifting the ban of female aid workers
Brussels, 1 February 2023
During their plenary session in Brussels Members of the European Parliament held a discussion on the situation in Afghanistan. Vice Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Željana Zovko took the floor and stressed the importance not to ignore what is happening in the Afghanistan at this moment and not to forget the decades of peacebuilding in which the EU and its member states have invested.
Zovko underlined that with the takeover by the Taliban, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has severely deteriorated and she stated that she deeply deplores the recent ban by the Taliban for all activities of female aid workers.
“In humanitarian crises, women and children are the most vulnerable and it is often the female aid workers that can deliver the highly needed assistance to these groups and reach the most remote communities.” Zovko said and called on the EU’s diplomatic efforts to work on the removal of these restrictions. Zovko is of the opinion that further humanitarian aid should be conditional to lifting this ban.
Zovko also referred to the need to act against the growing threat posed by terrorist groups that reside, train and operate in Afghanistan. She said that while the international engagement in Afghanistan was exactly to fight against terrorism, these groups are getting stronger again and form a danger for the Afghani people, their neighbouring countries and the wider world.
Zovko stressed that mistakes from the past should not be repeated and that security should be safeguarded.