ICRAA Newsletter December 2016
I am happy to share our first newsletter with you.
Celebrating 3 Years
This year, ICRAA turned 3 years old. We celebrated our progress in Leeds, UK on November 20. We thank all those who attended the celebration.
ICRAA Annual Report
We have also submitted our annual report to the Charity Commission. This report is available online for review.
Trust Women Conference
From November 30 to December 1, I attended the Trust Women Conference in London, UK, where I met with several people to discuss the needs of Afghan women.
Possible Collaboration with WaterAid, British Red Cross
We are currently in discussion with WaterAid and the British Red Cross, to strengthen our peace building efforts in Afghanistan.
Refugee situation in Afghanistan
Refugees are currently returning home from Pakistan, and they are in need of support (water, food, medical attention and shelter) while in transit. ICRAA wishes to support them, but we still need donations to continue making this possible. I ask you to please give generously to help with these efforts.
Proposed New Slogan
We have three proposals for ICRAA’s new slogan:
1. There For Good
2. No Matter What
3. Because It’s Our Home
I would like your feedback on these proposed slogans. Please email us to tell us what you think.
Dr Sanaulhaq Ahmadzai
Chairman and Trustee
International Committee for Rehabilitation Aid to Afghanistan (ICRAA)
Picture of three years celebration of progress with ICRAA in Leeds attended by representatives of Oxfam GB, WaterAid UK, British Red Cross and YAA. This celebration was held on November 20th.
ICRAA received an award from Lord Mayor of Leeds, 21 June 2016
Speech prepared for the IOM-NGO Humanitarian Consultation, Geneva 13 June 2016
It is an honour to be here, among so many esteemed individuals and organisations sharing the common goal of offering support to refugees around the world. I would like to take a moment to talk to you about the ICRAA and our proposed plan for repatriating Afghan refugees.
Who is the ICRAA?
The International Committee for Rehabilitation Aid to Afghanistan is a UK-based non-profit charitable organisation seeking to aid repatriation and recovery programmes in Afghanistan and, in particular, for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, who have been displaced by over three decades of war.
The ICRAA’s efforts include providing healthcare, education, agriculture, animal welfare and disaster relief.
We are affiliated with several international organizations, including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO); the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH); Fundraising Standard Board (FRSB); International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND), a UK international development network.
The ICRAA was founded in the UK as a charity in 2013, by myself; I spent 25 years living in refugee camps in Peshawar, Pakistan, including Nasirbagh, Kacha Gari, and Shamshatoo. With support from refugee organisations such as UNHCR, I was able to provide food, shelter, clean water supply, clothing, medication and training to refugees.
I also had regular contact with Commissionerate Afghan Refugees (CAR), aiding refugees throughout the process of acquiring the necessary paperwork to enter Pakistan legally.
There are currently an estimated 2.5 million displaced Afghans. They have lived in exile for far too long, innocent victims of the ongoing conflict. There is no question of their desire, their need to return home. However, recently there has been increased pressure from Pakistan for Afghan refugees to leave.
President Ashraf Ghani has been in talks with the militant group Hesb-i-Islami to reach an agreement that would repatriate 20,000 refugees in Pakistan. However, the group’s interest in the matter is self-serving; the proposed deal would focus on aiding Hesb-i-Islami supporters, while diverting resources from repatriating the remainder of the Afghan refugee population.
The ICRAA has no political affiliation, and our efforts are motivated purely by our desire for peace in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees to return home.
The security situation in Afghanistan is worsening, with corruption continuing to grow. UK prime minister David Cameron was recently overheard calling Afghanistan one of “the two most corrupt countries in the world”. While the government now controls Kabul and many district centres, the Taliban still controls many outlying areas, with estimates of their influence ranging from one-fifth to one-half of the country. This is a crucial moment in the history of the Afghan war. Now is the time for action.
The ICRAA is committed to the repatriation of displaced Afghans, but there are many challenges that must be addressed for this to become reality.
First, how would we identify refugees in Pakistan, obtain appropriate documentation, and successfully settle them in Afghanistan?
There are several methods for identifying displaced Afghan citizens, including citizenship certificates, UNHCR registration ID cards, and positive identification by third parties under oath.
The ICRAA will assist with obtaining documentation to ensure returning refugees are not delayed unnecessarily at checkpoints between Peshawar and the Torkham border. The ICRAA will also work with the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations in Afghanistan to ensure all returning citizens are allocated plots of land on which to resettle.
We will help direct citizens to their land, and support the construction of new homes by providing tools, materials, and other assistance.
Throughout the relocation process, the ICRAA will also provide food, shelter and clothing to returning Afghans, to allow them to make the lengthy journey—which can include long wait times at departure centres and at the Torkham border, in extreme weather—with comfort and dignity.
How would we follow up on repatriated Afghans?
We will use radio, television and print media to inform Afghans about services offered by the ICRAA, including carpentry skills and other training for youth and adults.
We will establish a network of offices, in Jalalabad and other cities, to directly serve returnees in different communities.
We will continue to work with other refugee organisations to ensure that there are sufficient resources for these support efforts.
What networks, staff, and volunteers do we have to be in a good position to assist?
We currently have contact with more than 400 communities in Afghanistan, and will have enough volunteers to carry out the work.
We also already have support from tribe leaders and their members in Afghanistan.
Because of our deep roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including our members’ personal experiences in refugee camps, we are well positioned and highly motivated to advance the repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. We would welcome the opportunity to explore working with IOM, UNHCR, and other organisations, to face this challenge together. I thank you for your time.
Dr Sanaulhaq Ahmadzai
ICRAA is a UK-based non-profit charitable organisation seeks to aid repatriation and recovery programmes in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, including health, education, agriculture, animal welfare and as well as disaster relief.
ICRAA is a purpose driven charity based in Leeds, UK which works in close collaboration with poor communities across the UK, Afghanistan, and with Afghan Refugees in Pakistan.
We will continue to focus on fully transparent and results-oriented programmes that are important to communities and people. ICRAA will provide immediate assistance to those who need it.
Our proposed activities include:
In Afghanistan, ICRAA plans to undertake a milk programme in Nangarhar province to improve the nutrition of Afghan people which will eventually lead to self-sufficiency, better health, and a steady income for the communities taking part as an alternative to being dependent on growing poppies.
In the UK, Afghanistan, and for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, ICRAA plans to undertake an education programme to improve English proficiency.
In Afghanistan, ICRAA also plans to implement an ambulance service programme based around Torkham-Jalalabad and Kabul, to improve the speed and efficiency with which accident victims are treated and to improve the health of ill people (including young children, elderly persons and pregnant women).
All of these programmes are to be delivered free of charge to the communities with which we work.
More information/Contact ICRAA
Please contact us if you would like to explore a partnership with us, volunteer, or would like more information about our work.
Recognitions, Affiliates & Awards