The United Nations today chastised NATO for what it called “the militarization of humanitarian aid” in Afghanistan, and said that they will not participate in any reconstruction moves centered around the military.
Interestingly enough, NATO had previously sought to create a more coordinated civilian aid effort only last month, appointing Ambassador Mark Sedwell as the new NATO civilian chief in Afghanistan.
But UN officials say that NATO’s military is now putting it upon itself to provide health care and build schools in rural Afghanistan. Civilian aid groups are under increasing pressure to follow the military’s lead.
Private aid groups have also been intensely critical of the NATO policy, cautioning that NATO’s practice of using humanitarian aid as a “weapon of war” is putting humanitarian workers at increasing risk, as they are increasingly perceived as being in league with the military occupation.