Mission East in Afghanistan: We are cautiously optimistic

The Taliban is asking Mission East to continue development work in Afghanistan. "We will do so within the next few days if the Taliban guarantees our security," says Managing Director Betina Gollander-Jensen.

Afghanistan is in great uncertainty since the Taliban took over the country. Western powers withdraw, but Mission East remains in the country to support the vulnerable population.

The conflict has led to new internally displaced peoples, and development projects risk coming to a complete standstill. But here the Afghans can count on Mission East, says Managing Director Betina Gollander-Jensen.

- The Taliban has asked us to continue working, and we will do so as soon as they guarantee the security of our 100 employees, free access to the communities in which we work, and respect for our neutrality as a humanitarian organization.

Mission East has been working in the northern provinces of Takhar and Badakhshan for 20 years and enjoys great trust among the elders of the villages.

- Right now we are in a waiting position, but we are cautiously optimistic that we can continue to provide water and sanitation and ensure good hygiene that prevents diseases in the fragile population. We expect to resume work within the next few days, says Betina Gollander-Jensen.

Until security is guaranteed, staff work from home, while Mission East's offices in four cities are closed and guarded by security personnel.

Picture: Mission East hans previously had the responsibility of helping 20.000 internally displaced peoples around Kunduz.

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