Letter: Afghan outrage

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The claims in your article "How the children of Kabul are sacrificed to sexual politics of the West" (16 January) that the Department for International Development has stopped funding "charities" in Afghanistan, and threatened to withdraw funding from any which return there, are misleading.

DFID continues to support the provision of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, where it can be delivered effectively and in a principled manner. We have recently completed a review of our assistance programme for Afghanistan, and are offering further support to a number of non-governmental agencies operating in the country.

We have, however, made clear that we will not at present support agencies which send expatriate personnel back into Afghanistan. This is because of serious threats to the safety of such personnel. The projects we are supporting are run by national staff. There are particular difficulties for agencies in Kabul, caused by the constraints which the Taliban have imposed. But we remain prepared to support programmes in Kabul if these constraints can be overcome.

Dr MUKESH KAPILA

Senior Humanitarian Adviser

Department for International Development

London SW1

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