Skip to main content

World Afghan Taliban bans WHO and Red Cross work amid vaccination drive

The Afghan Taliban have banned the World Health Organization and the Red Cross from operating in areas under their control until further notice, a spokesman said on Thursday, citing unspecified “suspicious” actions during vaccination campaigns.

The WHO is carrying out a vaccination campaign in Afghanistan, one of the last countries in the world where polio is still endemic.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said fighting across Afghanistan had created a “complex situation” and some charitable organizations including the WHO and the Red Cross were not operating in accordance with the situation.

Story continues below advertisement

“They have not stuck to the commitments they had with Islamic Emirates, and they are acting suspiciously during vaccination campaigns,” he said, providing no details.

Other aid groups were free to continue operations, he said.

The Red Cross says it tries to build relationships with all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, where it has worked for more than 30 years.

Sanela Bajrambasic, spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, said the organization was seeking clarification but remained committed to Afghanistan.

“What we can say at this point is that we have seen the same statement on their website and we will be seeking to engage bilaterally with Taliban on it,” she said, adding that people in Afghanistan were its main concern.

“They continuously bear the brunt of hostilities, and there is the clear need for humanitarian assistance, as well as for a renewal of commitment of all parties to make it happen.”

There was no immediate comment from the WHO.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter