By halting aid over Afghanistan’s absurd gender rules, agencies let the Taliban win

Mukesh Kapila – 17 January 2023 First published 12 January 2023 on The National News Photo by AFP via The National News Should we stop funding all education in Afghanistan because the Taliban prohibited girls from school? To seek an answer was why I was in Afghanistan in 1997. This was during the first coming ofContinue reading “By halting aid over Afghanistan’s absurd gender rules, agencies let the Taliban win”

WHO head Tedros faces a challenge all humanitarians know well

“Damned if you speak up, damned if you don’t” the dilemma faced by humanitarians when they seek to help the victims of egregious crimes against humanity. Dr Tedros, the head of WHO decided to speak up on the catastrophic situation in Tigray, Ethiopia – setting an example to the leaders of other international organisations.

The world’s biggest active war: Appeal for Tigray, Ethiopia 

The civil war in Tigray, Ethiopia is a year old. It is the biggest active armed conflict in the world with millions blockaded and denied humanitarian aid, even as massacres and sexual violence abound, and famine is getting established. Distinguished scholars and researchers from around the world appeal for the blockade to be lifted as prerequisite for negotiations and eventually peace.

The harsh shadow of ‘Long Covid’ on our most cherished values

What is the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on what were once the universal and benign values of health? Our health is now a matter of national security and we are all conscripted as soldiers.

What happens when the world doesn’t move freely?

When the world is not able to travel, distances of the heart grow faster than bodily distances. And we understand less and less about places not visited. Terrible atrocities can then flourish so easily behind closed borders. Worst of all, as our worldview shrinks, we stop caring and growing ourselves. The sooner the world re-opens, the better for both our sanity and our common humanity.

What is the point of speaking up?

When confronted by egregious human rights abuses, or war crimes and crimes against humanity including genocide, does speaking up make any difference? Especially if words are not followed by action? There are at least four reasons why it is still crucial to speak out, and how doing so can be effective. Also what matters is the pedestal of the speaker. The higher that is, the greater their responsibility to speak out. Of course,the rhetoric-reality gap is often vast and it is easy to get cynical. But silence or ambivalence kill and destroy much more. So, speak up clearly and loudly to wake up even the dead.