The world is waiting to see how Afghanistan weathers an uncertain 2014. The stage is set for Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power, but violence threatens to derail this Saturday’s election.
International military forces plan to withdraw completely from the country by the end of this year—but wrangling over a security agreement with the United States makes exact drawdown plans unclear. As international troops leave the country, international funding is leaving with them, and Afghanistan’s economic growth is shrinking. It’s hard to predict just how significant the economic impacts will be.
As we explain in our report released today, Afghans are uncertain about their country’s future. Afghans who can afford to leave the country are moving elsewhere. And Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran who have waited anxiously for years to be able to go home have decided to hold off, saying they don’t yet know what situation they’d be returning to.
Read the REPORT
The International Rescue Committee is a leading global humanitarian and post-conflict development organisation, working with people and communities affected by conflicts and natural disasters in more than 40 countries around the world. Read more about the organisation HERE.
The International Rescue Committee has been supporting the Afghan people in their fight against displacement and poverty for the last three decades. During the Soviet occupation the IRC operated from 1980 to 1988 in Pakistan assisting large numbers of refugees. Then in 1988, the IRC expanded operations to work inside Afghanistan to assist people affected by conflict, natural disaster, and poverty, including displaced people and returnees.
The Afghan people have endured three decades of wide-scale conflict, and at the same time have suffered from frequent natural calamities such as droughts, floods and earthquakes. The IRC focuses on emergency preparedness as well as longer term development programming. Currently working in seven of the country’s 34 provinces, the IRC’s staff is 99% Afghan.