Mission East: We cannot fail the people of Afghanistan

Evacuation from Kabul airport is nearing completion, but Mission East will remain in Afghanistan to provide emergency relief and continue climate projects to alleviate droughts and floods.

The last Danish plane took off on Thursday from Kabul's airport in Afghanistan, and a total of 988 people with Danish connections have thus been evacuated. Work is continuing to get another 83 people – some of whom are Afghans as well as other people on the "Danish list" – to be evacuated with other planes.

100 local staff ready to help

After the evacuation, NGOs remain - with their staff dedicated to helping the people in the humanitarian crisis that is expected to escalate the coming weeks. Among them is Mission East, which has been working in the country for 20 years and whose 100 local staff are ready to go out into the villages with help as soon as the Taliban provide access and guarantee their security.

- We are cautiously optimistic and are preparing for our upcoming activities, says Mission East's Managing Director Betina Gollander-Jensen. - The Taliban has requested that we continue our relief and development work as before, and calm is emerging in the northeastern provinces of Takhar and Badakhshan, where we work.

Life slowly returns to normal

- We get messages that life is slowly starting to return to the cities, people are going to work and school, and everyday life is beginning to appear.

Mission East stays in the country and delivers, Betina Gollander-Jensen assures.

- We cannot fail the local people - not at all now that they are facing a humanitarian crisis of dimensions on top of the crises they are already struggling with. Climate change and deforestation are causing drought, and when the rains finally come, it washes away all fertile soil, creating floods and landslides.

Both climate aid and emergency aid

- Therefore, we must continue to provide water for drinking and irrigation of the dry fields and replant trees and shrubs to keep the soil up the mountain slopes. All this while distributing emergency aid in the form of hygiene equipment, cleaning products, protection against Covid-19 and other health-promoting equipment to the poor.

Mission East is used to working in conflict areas and adheres to humanitarian principles of being neutral and independent of the parties to the conflict in order to help as many people as possible. In addition to Afghanistan, the organization carries out work in countries including Myanmar, Iraq and Syria.

On the way to Afghanistan's border country

On Sunday, Managing Director Betina Gollander-Jensen will travel to Tajikistan to see first-hand the relief work among the work for children with disabilities. The plan is that she will also visit the border with Afghanistan to investigate how Mission East can help the refugees who may apply across the border there.

- We must do what we can to help the tried population and can only hope that our supporters will stand with us and them in this difficult situation - both with public and private funds, the Managing Director concludes.