Select Committee on International Development First Report


The International Development Committee has agreed to the following Report:—



On 16 October 2001, we announced a short inquiry in to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. It was the Committee's intention that the inquiry would focus on the humanitarian crisis as a precursor to a more detailed inquiry on the longer-term reconstruction, to be undertaken later. As a result, this report concerns itself with the humanitarian crisis, but it also briefly considers some of the issues that will have to be addressed in any plans for the longer term rebuilding of Afghanistan.


We received written evidence from a number of organisations and held four evidence sessions. We are grateful to all those who gave evidence to the inquiry and have included a list of all those from whom we heard oral evidence at the end of this Report. In particular we would like to thank Catherine Bertini, Executive Director, World Food Programme; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF; Ross Mountain, Assistant Emergency Relief Co-ordinator and Director, UNOCHA, Geneva and Sakandar Ali, Country Representative for Afghanistan, Islamic Relief.

Although the security situation precluded a visit to Afghanistan, the Committee was able to undertake a visit to Pakistan in connection with this inquiry. We would like to thank those who assisted with its inquiry during the visit, especially Mr Michael Sackett, Regional Humanitarian Co-ordinator, UNOCHA, Islamabad; Mr Filipo Grandi, Chief of Mission, UNHCR Afghanistan; Mr Mohammad Naeem Khan, Commissioner for Refugees, Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees; Mr Roy Herrmann, UNHCR, Peshawar; Mr Abbas Sarfraz Khan, Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Northern Areas, SAFRON and Housing Works, Government of Pakistan; Mr Ramiro Lores Da Silva, Transport Director, World Food Programme, Afghanistan Office. We also express our gratitude to the British High Commission in Islamabad for organising the programme at very short notice.

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Prepared 20 December 2001