Memorandum submitted by the British Agencies
Afghanistan Group (BAAG)
At the International Development Select Committee
session held on 23 October 2000, a Memorandum was submitted by
Oxfam and CARE International Limited. During the Examination of
Witnesses the following requests for information were made Part
SECTION 26Paper to outline which NGOs
operate in Afghanistan, who does what and how many workers are
SECTION 35Paper to outline what are the
main logistical problems;
SECTION 60How much food people need each
day to survive.
This paper has been prepared by the British
Agencies Afghanistan Group as a partial response to SECTION 26
and 35. It is presented as Part I"Humanitarian Aid
Agency Programmes in Afghanistan"Programmes Summary
with an annotated map (plus detailed programme charts completed
by agencies), and Part IILogistical problems. In respect
of SECTION 60 we would refer the committee to the "Afghanistan
Food Security Assessment July-August 2001" published by the
World Food Programme that can be found on www.hic.org.pk
During the week 5-9 November, UN Agencies and
NGOs conducted a series of workshops in which they developed the
"30 Day Emergency Operational Assistance Plan for Afghanistan:
15 November15 December 2001". Their objectives included
providing "as complete a picture as possible of which organisations
are currently operating in what geographic areas and in what sectors"
and "to identify those areas and groups that will not be
reached, and why". The document details the difficulties
and constraints within which NGOs have to operate and the difficulties
involved in gaining accurate, full and up-to-date information.
Particularly relevant are the "Introduction" and "Overall
Operating Environment". The whole document can be found on
We sought data from all agencies that we know
are operating or may be planning to operate programmes in Afghanistan
either alone or in partnership with other organisations. The Agencies
were asked for the following information. (1) locations in which
they work or support partner organisations, (2) the type of programme
including totals of aid delivered eg numbers of tents, metric
tonnes of wheat, (3) what progress had been made in meeting aims,
4) numbers of personnel, male or female, national or international
(5) contact with programme staff ie how it was maintained, if
at all, during the current difficulties (6) security concerns
or incidents, (7) identified gaps in provision of aid (8) other
comments or obstacles encountered in implementing their programmes.
Despite time constraints thirteen agencies have
responded in time for this paper to be prepared and this gives
a broad indication of the geographical spread where people work
and the varied programmes that humanitarian agencies are providing.
Some responses are more comprehensive than others which is perhaps
a reflection of individual agencies' capacity to respond quickly
to external requests rather than an unwillingness to share information.
Some agencies have submitted separate statements on their programmes
to the Select Committee.
This exercise has again highlighted the need
for comprehensive information and an overview of NGO operations
in Afghanistan in a regularly updated and easily accessible format.
The British Agencies Afghanistan Group had identified this as
an issue to be addressed and is planning to map who is doing what
and where in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, and to report
on gaps in humanitarian aid with reference to both short and long
term humanitarian and development needs. Specific information
will be made available on visas, logistics, supplies, access,
travel options, Internally Displaced Persons and refugee flows
and security. Although this paper is of necessity incomplete it
will now form the first of a series of "planograms"
that will evolve to become a comprehensive organic document. It
will include information directly received from partners in border
countries, other co-ordinating bodies, and people working in Afghanistan
"in the field".