Global civil society alliance, CIVICUS condemns the horrific attack on the office and staff of Save the Children in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan. We stand in solidarity with Save the Children and applaud the resolute courage of colleagues who continue their important work in very difficult circumstances.
On 24 January 2018, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside the offices of Save the Children and gunmen entered the premises and opened fire on occupants of the building. Four staff members of Save the Children were killed as a result of the attack. Four others were injured and are receiving medical treatment.
"It’s unfortunate that the attack was carried out against Save the Children staff who have demonstrated a deep commitment towards improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of children worldwide and in Afghanistan,” said Danny Sriskandarajah Secretary General of CIVICUS. “There’s no justification for such senseless immoral acts of terror.”
As attested by the CIVICUS Monitor, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous environments for civil society to operate in due to constant threats from armed extremists. CIVICUS believes that any attack against organisations that provide humanitarian assistance is morally repugnant and should be condemned in the strongest terms.
Save the Children has been working in Afghanistan for more than four decades and provides life-saving health, education, nutrition and child protection programmes which have positively contributed to the lives of the Afghan people and children in particular. Following the attack, Save the Children has temporarily suspended operations across Afghanistan but maintains that it remains committed to helping the most deprived children in Afghanistan. This attack on Save the Children is indicative of a worrying trend of attacks on staff of civil society organisations across the world.
We at CIVICUS stand in solidarity with colleagues working in dangerous environments. We applaud their courage and refuse to let those who attack civil society impose on us a narrative of disempowerment. We refuse to allow hate filled agendas deter us from our work but remain cognisant of the very real challenges faced by colleagues which require swift and appropriate action from various stakeholders to prevent loss of valuable lives.