Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development Mullah Mohammad Yunus Akhundzada on Thursday met with the head of UNOPS, Nicholas George in Kabul.
In a meeting with the Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Nicholas George said currently the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has conducted 76,500 projects in 70 districts of 26 provinces across Afghanistan. Some projects are underway and others will start in the near future.
Meanwhile, Mr. George asked the Islamic Emirate authorities to remove the ban on women employees working for non-governmental aid organizations, which has caused critical challenges in the successful implementation of certain life-saving projects and aid distribution to vulnerable families throughout the country.
In response to the removal of the ban on NGO’s female employees, the Acting Minister did not provide any clear answer – however, he pointed out that the decree is issued based on Islamic laws and Afghan culture. He further added that no major concern exists with the imposed ban.
This comes as the international community and humanitarian aid organizations have multi-folded their pressure on the de facto authorities of Afghanistan with regard to the gender-based bans restricting women from working with the NGOs, and attending educational institutions and public places.
The ban has significantly impacted ordinary people’s lives during these difficult times. There has been a major disruption in aid distribution to vulnerable families with the harsh winter making it rather difficult for people to survive.