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The Long Tail of Afghan Relocation and Resettlement: Achievements, Obstacles, and Opportunities

April 12, 2022

The Evacuate Our Allies (EOA) Coalition was formed in the wake of President Biden's announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in April 2021. Its mission is two-fold: to ensure the rapid relocation and rescue of vulnerable Afghans who are at risk of persecution from the Taliban, and to ensure a prompt and dignified resettlement in the United States. Its focus includes, but is not limited to, supporting those eligible for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.In addition to its legislative efforts, the EOA Coalition also serves as the primary engagement vehicle for the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Unified Coordination Group (UCG) to work with civil society through Operation Allies Welcome. Through its five main liaison working groups, the coalition has hosted over 20 engagements with dozens of experts and officials representing over 12 federal agencies since September 2021 and has presented hundreds of policy and process recommendations to more humanely, efficiently, and generously support newly arrived Afghans and those that remain abroad in need of protection. This report is a compilation of feedback collected from Afghan American community leaders, veterans groups, on-the-ground experts, and liaison working groups: The report focuses on areas of advancement and achievement in our partnership with the UCG and federal agencies, identifies challenges that prevent successful relocation and resettlement, and presents recommendations for policy changes that should be prioritized as Operation Allies Welcome enters its next phase.

Fulfilling America’s Promise: Options to Make U.S. Humanitarian Protection Pathways Viable for At-Risk Afghans

November 9, 2021

In this report, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), InterAction, and Human Rights First lay out several options available to the Biden Administration to provide at-risk Afghans viable humanitarian pathways out of Afghanistan and third countries and into the U.S.

Afghanistan’s Rising Civilian Death Toll Due to Airstrikes, 2017-2020

December 7, 2020

When the United States tightens its rules of engagement and restricts air strikes where civilians are at risk, civilian casualties tend to go down; when it loosens those restrictions, civilians are injured and killed in greater numbers. In 2017 the Pentagon relaxed its rules of engagement for airstrikes and escalated the air war in Afghanistan. The aim was to gain leverage at the bargaining table. From 2017 through 2019, civilian deaths due to U.S.and allied forces' airstrikes in Afghanistan dramatically increased.

The Displacement Continuum: The Relationship Between Internal Displacement and Cross-border Movement in Seven Countries

June 1, 2020

The twentieth of June is World Refugee Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees. There are nearly twice as many internally displaced people (IDPs) as there are refugees, but there is no International Day of Internal Displacement.To bring attention to the invisible majority of displaced people, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is investigating the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movement. Based on primary research conducted with refugees, returning refugees and IDPs from Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, we arrive at the following key findings:Cross-border movements are often a symptom of the failure to protect and assist IDPs in their country of origin. More than half of the refugees and returning refugees surveyed were internally displaced before leaving their country of origin. Many suffered multiple internal displacements and were unable to find safety in their country of origin.Restrictive migration policies combine with the high cost of irregular migration to limit opportunities for IDPs seeking refuge abroad. Instead, IDPs are exposed to repeated incidents of internal displacement. Nearly 47 per cent of IDPs surveyed were displaced multiple times. Border closures resulting from COVID-19 act as a further barrier to international protection.Difficult conditions abroad can push refugees to return prematurely to their countries of origin. Family reunification is the most powerful motivation behind returns, but refugees who are unable to make ends meet in their host country may feel they have no choice but to return to insecurity in their country of origin. Under such circumstances, return assistance runs the risk of encouraging premature returns.Refugees who return prematurely to their country of origin often find themselves in situations of internal displacement. Over three-quarters of returning refugees surveyed were living outside their area of origin, often because of continued insecurity and housing destruction. Returning refugees and IDPs face similar challenges in terms of accessing durable solutions to their displacement.

Economic Empowerment for Women Affected by Conflict

May 1, 2019

Since 1993, Women for Women International has served more than 479,000 marginalised women affected by conflict. Through our yearlong programme marginalised women are supported to: earn and save money; influence decisions; improve their well-being; and connect to networks for support. We see promising results in our monitoring and evaluation efforts.Based on our evidence and complemented by global studies, we highlight four key, interlinked components that are necessary for effectively supporting women's economic empowerment in conflict:1. Work with men to address discriminatory gender norms. All members of society suffer from patriarchal attitudes and have a role to play in promoting gender equality – these are not just "women's issues".2. Holistic and integrated programming. Women's needs and experiences in conflict are complex and interlinked. Solely economic interventions alone have not proven to yield long-term benefits.3. Build women's economic knowledge and skills. This is vital to supporting them to build agency and influence decisions, increase their income and increase their resilience to economic shocks.4. Informal and formal support networks. In the absence of government and financial services, networks are key to supporting women to access financial support, particularly for savings and income.In conclusion, this paper makes five recommendations for international governments and donors to effectively deliver on international commitments and support marginalised women's economic empowerment in conflict-affected contexts:1. Urgently increase funding for women's rights organisations.2. Support economic empowerment programmes that include men in their programme design.3. Target the most marginalised women.4. Support holistic and integrated programming.5. Listen to the needs of marginalised women and actively include them in the design, implementation and review of economic empowerment programmes.

Measuring Household Stress: The development of a contextualized multi-sector Coping Strategy Index for Afghanistan

May 22, 2018

Oxfam developed a multi-sector Coping Strategy Index (mCSI) to provide the humanitarian community in Afghanistan with a tool to assess and monitor the impact of interventions - especially multi-purpose cash grants - with data collected from Nangarhar, Herat, Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul provinces. The project was funded by EU humanitarian aid and Oxfam.This report explains how the index was developed and tested in the field to verify its validity as a proxy of overall household stress. Also available to download is an introduction to the methodology.

Menstrual hygiene management in schools in South Asia: Afghanistan

January 1, 2018

In Afghanistan, there are separate schools for girls and boys and it is estimated that only 16% of schools are for girls. Many rural and displaced girls are unable to attend school regularly. There are no specific menstrual hygiene management (MHM) policies; however, gender-separated toilets are the norm and girls' washrooms have beenincorporated into designs. O&M remains a huge problem. Poor security complicates matters.

Returning to Fragility: Exploring the link between conflict and returnees in Afghanistan

December 13, 2017

Huge numbers of people are returning to Afghanistan - more than two million since 2015 - while the country is still highly fragile, with ongoing fighting and internal displacement in many areas and high levels of poverty. Oxfam's field research in Herat, Kabul, Kunduz and Nangarhar finds that for as long as these conditions do not improve, a safe and dignified return cannot be guaranteed, and forced returns remain irresponsible. With more people returning on a daily basis, tensions are likely to grow and pressure on scarce resources will increase, exacerbating inequalities in this unstable and fragile country. Sending Afghans back to volatile areas will likely result only in more displacement and fragility.

Citizen Voice in Afghanistan: Evaluation of National Solidarity Programme III

September 16, 2016

This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2014/15, randomly selected for review under the citizen voice thematic area. This report documents the findings of a qualitative impact evaluation, carried out in December 2014. The evaluation used process tracing to assess the effectiveness of the "National Solidarity Programme III"  in Afghanistan.   The National Solidarity Programme III (NSP III) was launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD).  The main objective of the programme was "'to build, strengthen and maintain community development councils (CDCs) as effective institutions for local governance and socio- economic development"'.  Oxfam GB was a Facilitating Partner, helping to establish and build the capacity of CDCs to manage local development.  Read more about Oxfam's Effectiveness Reviews.

Evaluation of the My Rights My Voice Programme: Synthesis report

August 22, 2016

'My Rights, My Voice' (MRMV) is a multi-country programme implemented by Oxfam GB, Oxfam Novib, Oxfam Québec and their partners with the aim of engaging marginalized children and youth in their rights to health and education services. The programme has been implemented in eight countries: Afghanistan, Georgia, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Tanzania and Vietnam.This evaluation aimed to systematically analyse the actual outcomes of the programme and its underlying working mechanisms against the proposed outcomes and MRMV's theory of change.Oxfam's management response to the evaluation report is included as a separate document.

The Strategic Costs of Civilian Harm

June 1, 2016

During the early years of the United States' involvement in Afghanistan, the U.S. military was killing too many civilians and depriving too many others of basic rights and liberties. By 2008, nearly 40 percent of civilian deaths in Afghanistan resulted from U.S. military operations.The level of "civilian harm"—the military's term for killing innocent civilians and causing major political, social, and economic disruption—was adversely impacting the United States' efforts to defeat the Taliban and weakening the legitimacy of the U.S. and Afghan governments.The report, The Strategic Costs of Civilian Harm: Applying Lessons from Afghanistan to Current and Future Conflicts, examines how the U.S. military learned from its early mistakes in Afghanistan and applied lessons to mitigate civilian harm. In fact, starting in 2009, the U.S. military recognized its mistakes and started to understand the high strategic cost of civilian harm. The military's changes led to a significant reduction in civilian deaths during the next few years.The report argues that the United States should develop a Uniform Policy on Civilian Protection. The new standards would apply to all U.S. military operations in current and future conflicts and, hopefully, better protect civilians caught in conflict.

Afghan Narcotrafficking Post-2014 Scenarios

February 11, 2015

As Afghanistan now faces an uncertain political and security environment following the drawdown of ISAF troops at the end of 2014, the potential for a worsening narcotrafficking threat is great. The report states that the potential for deterioration "underscores the imperative need for Russian and U.S. policymakers to find the political will to resume and perhaps even increase cooperation despite ongoing differences on other issues. Together with regional partners and international organizations, renewed Russian-U.S. cooperation presents the best hope for a brighter future."