Delivering effects in Afghanistan

Watching the twitter traffic this morning about the Afghan conference being hosted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office today in Lancaster House and I saw this tweet, reported by both DFID and FCO.

@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.

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One Response to Delivering effects in Afghanistan

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Delivering effects in Afghanistan « The meanderings of a mammal -- Topsy.com

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