The Last Best Hope Humanity Has - Ramiz Alakbarov - former UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan
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“It's not just food and assistance, you need to give these children a life, a life of full opportunities… So, I think we're so far from where we need to go, to make the difference.” When thousands fled the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, fearing the loss of millions of lives, stayed on. Every day since, the former UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in the country has fought to ease the acute suffering of its people. “I believe we are the last, best hope that humanity has. And we have to stand for it. For [many] we represent this larger world of justice, the moral compass. We must keep that.” More than 9 in 10 Afghans now live in poverty, with 24.4 million reliant on humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, mounting restrictions on freedoms have excluded millions of women from work and study. In this episode, Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov reflects on three painful years of Taliban rule, on the desperate need for long-term prospects, and on finding hope amid the darkness. “Imagine someone sitting under plastic sheeting and munching on a high energy biscuit and waiting - now for 20 years. That provisional shelter and biscuit will save your life today. But without education, health services, jobs, or income … you will run, you will join a radical group, you will eventually end up selling children, and organs.”
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