The UN called reports “untrue” saying that the World Food Program plans to comply with an order by the caretaker Afghan government issued last month.
Earlier Foreign Policy reported that “sources in local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) told Foreign Policy that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) plans to comply with an order by the Taliban issued last month, banning it and other NGOs from employing women even though Taliban leaders have said the edict does not apply to UN agencies.”
Speaking at a press conference, the UN spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, responsed to a question about the issue saying the WFP is not going to do “what that report claims it's going to do.”
“Whether it's WFP or the whole humanitarian system, and I think Martin Griffiths put it very clearly, that the UN cannot deliver humanitarian aid without the active participation of women,” he said. “It is both necessary from a practical point of view and obviously, also from an ethical point of view.”
Dujarric said the WFP Emergency Assistance to 13 million women and girls and boys has continued through December and January and this continuation is in line with the decisions made by jointly made by UN humanitarian agencies.
This comes as some residents of capital Kabul called for further aid to be provided by the WFP and urged a transparent aid process.
“We call on the government and international organizations to help the people in the current situation,” said Zabiullah, a resident of Kabul.
“If we have dinner, we don’t have breakfast. I work from dawn till dusk. I woke up at 04:00am and I have not even earned 10Afs,” said Ghulam, a resident of Kabul.
The WFP meanwhile in a report said that it is concerned that the ban on Afghan women working for NGOs will exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation.
The report said that 19 WFP partners suspended operations following the directive banning female NGO workers.
“The suspension of aid can damage the environment of the major economy. The very stability that has came into effect over the past several days in money exchange, this stability can also be damaged,” said Meer Shikib Meer, an economist.
Earlier, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that 17 million people in Afghanistan will be facing acute hunger in 2023.