@annamac33: Every 30 mins 14 children die in Afghanistan, Leaders at #afghanconf today must put peoples needs first.
AnnaMac33 is with Oxfam, so clearly in a fair position to comment.
To me, the comment really sums up a lot of the issues that we’re dealing with in Afghanistan. Everyone thinks that they’re putting the peoples needs first, but everyone sees the implementation of that goal in a different way.
For me, delivering what we need to in Afghanistan is about supporting Kabul, establishing a safe and secure environment. A safe and secure environment allows people to develop an increasingly robust economy. I see that as the way out of the current situation. Clearly it bears risk, particularly if any of the major stakeholders cut and run.
I’m simplifying things a lot here, Afghanistan encompasses three major cultures, a challenging geographic, socio-economic and political environment and the legacy of many years of conflict. It’ll take many years to work through that. Military effects play a part, but the military effort is merely a mechanism to support the stabilisation and development agenda. Military effort for its own sake is of no value, it’s an enabler.
Whilst it’s an admirable sentiment from Oxfam, I think it’s the wrong direction, and counterproductive in the long-term. Direct aid for those in need has a place, but the priority has to be on developing an environment where it shouldn’t be needed in future.