About 8 million Afghans, or more than one out of every four residents of the war-torn country, are in acute need of humanitarian assistance. The best way to meet this tremendous demand is through long-term investment in Afghanistan’s sustainable development.
Right now humanitarian aid efforts in Afghanistan feature a multitude of competing foreign aid organizations, bypassing the Afghan government, trying to find more trucks and safer routes to deliver more food rations or drinking water to an ever increasing number of destitute people. This method is neither desirable nor sustainable. The strategic solution to humanitarian access is prevention through institutional capacity building, and the investment of a greater share of foreign aid resources in Afghanistan’s socio-economic development.
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M Ashraf Haidari is an international security and development analyst who works with Afghanistan ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He formerly served as the chargé d'affaires and political counselor of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC .