RH S2E1 | NGOs and counter-insurgency: The case of Afghanistan

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The so-called war on terror has forever changed how aid is delivered in conflict zones, and Afghanistan is the perfect case study.

In the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the withdrawal of US and NATO forces, many aid organisations have temporarily halted their operations or withdrawn non-essential international staff, just as Afghanistan’s many pre-existing crises are gearing up to become a humanitarian catastrophe.

In the season two premiere of the Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast, TNH CEO and host Heba Aly looks back on 20 years of humanitarianism in Afghanistan to ask: Was the role of Western aid agencies helpful or hurtful? Were they impartial or complicit?

Guests Ashley Jackson, Afghanistan expert and co-director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at the Overseas Development Institute, and Joel Charny, former executive director of Norwegian Refugee Council USA, rethink the role of NGOs in counter-insurgency and offer some suggestions for the way forward.

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