The International Development Committee
has agreed to the following Report:
THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN
AND THE SURROUNDING REGION
On 16 October 2001, we announced a short inquiry
in to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the surrounding
region. It was the Committee's intention that the inquiry would
focus on the humanitarian crisis as a precursor to a more detailed
inquiry on the longer-term reconstruction, to be undertaken later.
As a result, this report concerns itself with the humanitarian
crisis, but it also briefly considers some of the issues that
will have to be addressed in any plans for the longer term rebuilding
We received written evidence from a number of organisations
and held four evidence sessions. We are grateful to all those
who gave evidence to the inquiry and have included a list of all
those from whom we heard oral evidence at the end of this Report.
In particular we would like to thank Catherine Bertini, Executive
Director, World Food Programme; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director,
UNICEF; Ross Mountain, Assistant Emergency Relief Co-ordinator
and Director, UNOCHA, Geneva and Sakandar Ali, Country Representative
for Afghanistan, Islamic Relief.
Although the security situation precluded a visit
to Afghanistan, the Committee was able to undertake a visit to
Pakistan in connection with this inquiry. We would like to thank
those who assisted with its inquiry during the visit, especially
Mr Michael Sackett, Regional Humanitarian Co-ordinator, UNOCHA,
Islamabad; Mr Filipo Grandi, Chief of Mission, UNHCR Afghanistan;
Mr Mohammad Naeem Khan, Commissioner for Refugees, Commissionerate
for Afghan Refugees; Mr Roy Herrmann, UNHCR, Peshawar; Mr Abbas
Sarfraz Khan, Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Northern Areas, SAFRON
and Housing Works, Government of Pakistan; Mr Ramiro Lores Da
Silva, Transport Director, World Food Programme, Afghanistan Office.
We also express our gratitude to the British High Commission in
Islamabad for organising the programme at very short notice.