Do we have Rotary clubs and members in Afghanistan?
- Three Rotary clubs and two Interact clubs have been active in Afghanistan. We are working to contact those club members to convey Rotary’s support and hopes for their continued health and safety. Our thoughts are with our members, their families and loved ones in Afghanistan.
What is Rotary doing in response to events happening in Afghanistan?
- Rotary is monitoring as events unfold in Afghanistan. Many Rotary members recognize the gravity of the situation and are compelled to act and offer support. As an organization, Rotary is ready to provide assistance however we can.
- Will Rotary intervene, take a position or issue a statement on the political situation in Afghanistan? Rotary’s worldwide membership includes people with varying opinions on issues related to politics, government and political parties. For this reason, Rotary does not take corporate action or express opinions on subjects related to government, political or ruling parties or entities. *
- Our clubs and members are taking humanitarian action by advocating for the people of Afghanistan and mobilizing to provide immediate and long-term help. The connections that drive and strengthen Rotary are already at work as members network with each other and our partners to assess what is needed by Afghan citizens who remain in the country, and to provide aid to refugees who have fled the country and are resettling elsewhere.
- As we gather more information about on-the-ground needs, we expect to see new project proposals aimed at providing local humanitarian aid for Afghanistan and support for refugees and displaced persons.
- Contact your local club, district and zone leaders to determine if there are Rotary-led efforts with capabilities to evacuate and facilitate relocations for refugees.
- Clubs can also connect to the Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement and Migration for more information and guidance on developing local resettlement efforts to help refugees transition.You can connect at www.ragforrefugees.org.
- Members and participants can also help respond by contacting local government officials that are committing to providing aid to Afghan refugees to see how you can augment their efforts.
- We can also leverage our expertise in promoting peace and conflict resolution to help advance global peacebuilding efforts. The situation unfolding in Afghanistan is a vivid reminder that security alone is not a sustainable solution. Our experiences with the Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Area of Focus and support for Rotary’s Peace Center network tells us that lasting peace goes beyond the absence of violence. The root causes and conditions that foster conflict must be addressed, with communities putting into place such factors as good governance, access to needed services, sound business environments, and respect for human rights.
Given President Shekhar’s focus on empowering girls, are we doing anything to support girls in Afghanistan?
- Rotary has asked clubs worldwide to embrace opportunities to empower girls as one of this year’s Presidential Initiatives. Rotary clubs have long supported efforts to help girls in Afghanistan and we remain committed to our work. If circumstances permit, clubs are encouraged to seek out ways to support girls in Afghanistan.
How will this affect our polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan?
- In 2021, despite internal conflicts and a global pandemic, Afghanistan is seeing unprecedentedly low transmission of wild polio, with just one case reported this year. Not only has the country seen a drastic reduction in cases of wild polio, polio surveillance data confirms this progress. Significantly less virus is being detected in the environment. As conflict in Afghanistan quickly evolves, we must advocate for the children of Afghanistan. The polio program must continue to operate and collaborate with all stakeholders involved to ensure that polio immunization remains a high priority so that the gains we have made against polio do not diminish. We look forward to working with our polio eradication partners and the Afghan people to completely eradicate polio.