Peter Maurer, ICRC President Speech at Brussels Conference on Afghanistan

Excellencies,
Dear colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

When you fly over Afghanistan, it is impossible not to marvel at the snow-covered Hindu Kush, the beauty of the country as it unfolds beneath you.

Yet the moment you get off the plane, be it in Kabul, Kandahar or Mazar-i-Sharif, you become acquainted with another side of the reality: insecurity, suffering, generations of people who have never known peace.

The figures have been quoted extensively. Progress has happened in many areas as mentioned, but: deaths, injuries, mutilations, attacks on healthcare structures, and overall humanitarian needs are all on the rise, and they have been for years.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the largest international humanitarian organization working in Afghanistan. Present in the country for 30 years, accepted and respected by all parties of the conflict, we bring neutral, independent and impartial aid to people in need, regardless of what side of the conflict they may be on – and we cooperate closely with our colleagues from the Afghan Red Crescent Society. Read full script.

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