How Humanitarians Access Taliban Controlled Populations
In Afghanistan more than six million people are in acute need of humanitarian assistance, yet the Taliban has banned the World Health Organization from working in critical areas.
In the media, much of the discussion surrounding the war in Afghanistan doesn't include humanitarian needs on the ground. Humanitarians seek to deliver aid to all populations in need, regardless of what party controls given territory. This often means humanitarians need to negotiate access to populations with local governing bodies. Depending on the group, this can be a dangerous task for humanitarians to undertake.
Denial of humanitarian access takes many forms, from mundane bureaucratic delays to horrific attacks on civilians seeking refuge and aid workers. Access denials like these are not new but have shifted from being an unintended consequence of conflict to a weapon of war used for political or military gain. As humanitarian emergencies become increasingly complex and protracted, blocked humanitarian access will only increase without urgent action. To ensure the ability of aid to reach those who need it most and to uphold the principles of international humanitarian law.