Today, Afghanistan is known as a war-torn country that receives billions of dollars in financial aid to alleviate poverty and help it rebuild its public services. Much of the world, including the United States and Canada, is dedicated to helping this ancient land and long-standing nation rebuild its status in the world.
In addition to financial aid, there are a huge number of international organizations and NGOs operation in the region. Key players like the World Health Organization, UNHCR, UNESCO and United Nations Human Rights are active in the country.
Relief has also come in the form of domestic and foreign bodies that each have individual goals and plans for improving one aspect of life in the country. From Islamic Relief to the Afghan Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief to the Dutch Committee for Afghanistan Veterinary Programmes, the world is not standing idly by as the citizens of Afghanistan deal with the effects of decades of civil and foreign wars.
In 2012 alone, Afghanistan was granted $492 million in humanitarian assistance from international bodies. In that year, it was the sixth largest recipient of international aid in the world. Yet, the country continues to score ‘high’ on the ECHO Vulnerability Index.
Despite receiving $46 billion dollars dedicated to the development of the country between 2003 and 2012, Afghanistan continues to remain a fragile state according to the OECD Fragile States Report. In addition to this aid, entrepreneurs such as Ehsanollah Bayat have worked to improve infrastructure and services in the country for many years.
Human Rights Watch suggests that in addition to pouring desperately needed aid into the state, those who grant the aid should use their financial power to insist that the country improve its human rights issues. Although some areas have come a long way from previous decades, organizations like Human Rights Watch believe that there are nowhere near enough concise goals in place nor are there measurable parameters to measure these goals by.
Because Afghanistan has previously received nearly 32 percent of its gross national income in aid, some organizations believe that putting pressure on the government and government agencies to respond to the humanitarian crisis that still exists in Afghanistan.
Although some improvements have been made, women and young girls in Afghanistan are still subject to what would be called discrimination in the best of cases and outright abuse in the worst scenarios. The country’s law, the Elimination of Violence Against Women, has not yet showed any progress in truly protecting the rights of women.
If all of the organizations and countries that donate aid to the country were to come together to insist on an improvement in humanitarian issues in the region, some feel that the outer reaches of the Afghan government would have to comply. With the help of aid and infrastructure, Afghanistan could once again become a sovereign state that boasts the stability it witnessed before the civil wars of the 1970s.