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The needs of the Afghan people must not be forgotten, Christian Aid says

Christian Aid welcomes reports that US Administration and President Hamed Karzai have found a renewed understanding signalling a solution to the troubled relationship of the last weeks and urges the international community to keep the focus on the urgent priorities of the Afghan people.

Christian Aid has been extremely concerned over the recent quarrels between the US President Barack Obama and the Afghan President.  The US- Afghan rift worsened over the last few weeks with accusations of election fraud and reports that the US would step up efforts to bypass Karzai and work directly with provincial governments.

‘It is very important that President Obama continues to negotiate with the Afghan President to send a clear signal that the international community respects the democratic process. One of the best ways for the needs of the poorest in Afghanistan to be met is through participation in the democratic process.  It is very important that the international community does not undermine this process.’ said Robin Greenwood, head of Christian Aid’s Asia and Middle East Division.

‘The Afghan government and international community must work together in order for the needs of the poorest people to be heard.’  added Serena Di Matteo, Christian Aid’s Country Director for Afghanistan.

‘Tackling the acute poverty in Afghanistan must be kept a top priority on the agenda of the international community and that of the Afghan Government at the upcoming Peace Jirga, Kabul conference and Parliamentary elections’ said Di Matteo.

‘The human rights of all Afghans - rights to dignity, security and development should be the paramount concern and should not be compromised, as part of the military campaign against the Taliban and its allies .It is inevitable that negotiations take place with the Taliban if a political solution is to be found.’ said Di Matteo.

It is particularly important to fund programmes which give people a viable means of earning a living. This will help to overcome the problem of opium cultivation and trade.  Measures are also required to improve security and challenge corruption.

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For more information, or to arrange an interview with Robin Greenwood or Serena Di Matteo please contact Johanna Rogers on +44 20 75 23 2460 jrogers@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve. 

Christian Aid works to promote Afghani women’s rights and education, as well as working more broadly for sustainable livelihoods, disaster risk reduction and community empowerment. 

Christian Aid has worked in Afghanistan for nearly three decades.  It has given about £20 million to partners working in the north, west and central Afghanistan since 2001

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Christian Aid has a vision – an end to poverty – and we believe that vision can become a reality. We work with the world’s poorest people in around 50 countries, regardless of race or faith. We are part of ACT Alliance, the ecumenical relief and development network.

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