Four humanitarian workers employed by Medair have been freed two weeks after their abduction in Afghanistan's northern province, Badakhshan. Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has welcomed the good news and the safe return of the humanitarians to their families and friends.
The Swiss-based international NGO Medair, is one of the European Commission’s partners in the delivery of humanitarian aid and has been working in Afghanistan since 1996.
The abduction of the humanitarian personnel, in a relatively quiet area of Afghanistan, shows that security for the Afghan population and humanitarian workers remains very volatile and unpredictable.
Afghanistan is one of the most challenging operational environments for humanitarians. The intensification of the conflict has boosted security risks and rendered large parts of the country off-limits for humanitarian organisations. The continuing insecurity is a serious and significant impediment to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan's most vulnerable and isolated communities.
Despite these persistent security challenges, the European Commission remains committed to helping the hundreds of thousands of Afghani people who need vital support to survive conflict, displacement and natural disasters. For 2012, the Commission has allocated €30 million for humanitarian aid and food assistance in Afghanistan.