Women have lost access to one-fifth of vital emergency services in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s ban on female humanitarian aid workers, new figures show.
This comes amid deadly sub-zero temperatures, which have so far killed more than 100 people across the country, and as millions face acute hunger and crippling blackouts.
In December, the Afghan Ministry of Economic Affairs banned women from working for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), prompting the immediate halt and scaling down of life-saving operations.
A poll by the Humanitarian Access Working Group surveyed 87 NGOs in 33 provinces of Afghanistan to track the impact of the ban a month later. It turned out that one in five organizations said women had lost access to their services.
“Access to women is through female NGO workers and without them it is more difficult to make sure they get the food, money and hygiene support they need,” said Ray Hasan, Christian Aid’s Global Head. data.
The poll, shared exclusively with the Telegraph, also found that only 17 percent of organizations are fully functioning, with 67 percent having reduced their work and 15 percent not working at all.
Between 80 and 90,000 women work in the aid sector in Afghanistan, while more than 11 million women depend on NGO support.