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Dispatch - Assessing seven years of humanitarian action in Afghanistan

On his last day on the job, outgoing head of delegation Reto Stocker warned today in Kabul about the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, where the future is more uncertain than ever for civilians who continue to bear the brunt of the violence.

Mr. Stocker headed our Afghanistan delegation from 2005 to early October 2012, a key period in an armed conflict that has affected tens of thousands of Afghans and continues to define humanitarian action in the post 9/11 era.  

Mr. Stocker was in Washington last week for a last round of meetings with US government officials at the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the National Security Council and the US Congress. After seven years in the field, he leaves Afghanistan deeply worried about the future of the country.

In Being Vulnerable, an exclusive Intercross Dispatch, Mr. Stocker explains how strict adherence to the principles of neutrality, independence and impartiality allowed the ICRC to gain the trust of the population and, despite major challenges, fullfill its humanitarian mandate. He also looks back at the moments and events that shaped the action of his delegation and the operational dialogue he led with US authorities, the Talibans, the Afghan government and others on a range of critical IHL-related issues, including detention and the conduct of hostilities.