I don’t think anybody really gives a rat’s fart for the work we are doing in Maimana, and probably internationally, these days, most players wouldn’t give much more for Afghanistan. I think the writing is on the wall and it reads something like ‘Afghanistan? Who cares?’.
It is sad for me to feel so cynical about this country I have loved, but I think I have earned the right to feel thus. And more than that, I think it is justified. There is very little real political will being shown to resolve the problems this country faces and I suspect that the decision has been made somewhere, in a place we will never know, by men we will never see, that Afghanistan no longer poses a threat, and that no effort needs be made to develop it as a nation. It serves global interests to keep some countries at the bottom of the heap, that is how capitalism works after all. And Afghanistan is pretty close to the bottom, and as the gods of finance and power have decided, so be it.
I see this at a macro and a micro level. In a conversation with my line manager today I again expressed my frustrations about lack of resources being put into this province. No resources, no results.
His response, ‘Let’s talk later.’ Other UN agencies feel the same. The Head of UNHCR here tells a story, about advisors and senior staff coming for a 10 day trip here, which is a good amount of time, and after one day they start enquiring about when the next flight out is. There are UN staff in Kabul who don’t know where Maimana is. I suspect they think it is in another country, that we are from another mission. I suggest to the heads of agencies that we stop working completely, see how long it takes Kabul to notice. ‘What makes you think they would notice?’ is the reply.
There is a saying in Bosnia, ‘The trucks are passing and the dogs are barking.’ Exactly. The trucks are still passing. The barking of the dogs makes no difference.