Save the Children has suspended its operations in Afghanistan following the Talibans announcement that women are banned from working for INGOs. We cannot andwill not operate without the full participation of and guarantees of safety for our female front line and office-based staff.

A Save the Children spokesperson said: Female staff members are at the heart of Save the Childrens work in Afghanistan. They are our doctors, nurses, midwives, they are our counselors, case workers and teachers, they are our finance, security, and human resources experts.

Most importantly, our female staff members enable us to access women and children. Most women in Afghanistan are only allowed to see female health professionals and case workers, and girls can only be taught by female teachers. If female staff are removed from the NGO workforce in Afghanistan, we will no longer be able to provide life-saving services to millions of women and children. Without them, we simply cannot safely operate.

The ban on female staff will have a direct impact on the life-saving assistance Save the Children provides and we are calling for an immediate reversal to this decision.

Save the Children is one of the largest INGOs in the country and has been operating in Afghanistan since 1976. Here are nine facts about Save the Childrens work in Afghanistan:

  1. Number of staff in Afghanistan 5,700 staff and community workers
  2. Number of women staff 2,490 staff or community workers
  3. Number of people helped since Save the Children restarted operations in September 2021 following the Taliban takeover 3.9 million people, including 1 million girls and 1.2 million women
  4. Number of provinces where Save the Children works 17 out of 34 (both directly and through partners)
  5. Number of children in need of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan 14 million
  6. Number of children with severe acute malnutrition Save the Children is currently treating 73,000
  7. Number of women currently receiving care via Save the Children mobile clinics 30,000
  8. Number of community-based education classes run by Save the Children 3,392
  9. Number of households who have received cash assistance from Save the Children totaling 16.4 million USD 130,514

For more information, or to arrange a media interview, contact media@savechildren.org.

Notes to editors:

[1] Save the Children directly provides essential support for children and their families in 10 provinces (Kabul, Kandahar, Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar, Faryab, and Logar provinces) and through partners in seven provinces (Badakhshan, Takhar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Herat, Kunduz, and Paktika).

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, weve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children every day and in times of crisis transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.