The big headline concerning
Afghanistan today is that the nations of the world have pledged
$4.5 billion over the next five years for the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
Meanwhile back on the ground in
Afghanistan, there is still a lack of immediate hands-on attention to
several problems that I've discussed in the past weeks, so the problems
continue festering. The result is ever-increasing, completely
unnecessary death and injury to Afghan civilians.
In November, December and earlier this month, I wrote about how the lack of
security was preventing food from being distributed to those who need
it. Unbelievably, there is still no international peacekeeping force
outside of Kabul to perform that function. So food convoys continue to
other food deliveries are cancelled
because of fear of the bandits, and food is still being stolen
from aid warehouses.
Back in November there were reports of
children being maimed and
killed by unexploded cluster bombs. Couldn't we have sent in clearance
teams to remove them? We didn't, and just last week seven children
in one village alone by these deadly munitions. Beyond that, thousands
of Afghans can't return to their villages because their homes and fields are
littered with these unexploded cluster bombs.
Last but not least, two weeks ago it
was apparent that even though massive amounts of food aid were inside
Afghanistan, the relief organizations had no way to distribute those
supplies to isolated villages where starving people were reduced to eating grass. Use of helicopters is clearly
called for. We undoubtedly have scores of choppers in that region not
being used now which could perform that function. That certainly
doesn't seem to be happening, unfortunately, as reports continue
in Afghanistan of inaccessible villages being unable to secure desperately
needed food aid.
It's all well and good that the donor
nations have pledged all the aid they did. But their seeming lack of
concern to do anything NOW about the problems described above makes me
wonder how much of the billions pledged will really be delivered.