Response to the January 2018 attacks on Save the Children, Afghanistan

On 24 January, militants affiliated with Islamic State launched an attack on a Save the Children office in Jalalabad, a city in eastern Afghanistan, killing six people including four Save the Children staff, and injuring 27.

At the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute’s (HCRI) annual Careers in Humanitarianism Day on Friday 2 February, guest speakers; Gareth Owen, Humanitarian Director of Save the Children and recipient of The University of Manchester Outstanding Alumni award, Nancy Claxton, Senior Officer of Health Promotion for the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and alumnus of HCRI and Bertrand Taithe, Executive Director of HCRI responded to this attack with messages of solidarity. This short film shows their response.

Part of HCRI’s role as a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre is to conduct research into attacks on healthcare workers in conflict-affected areas. This is in addition to their remit as a collaborating centre, given their profile and expertise.

In August 2017 HCRI brought together colleagues with researchers at the Center for Humanitarian Health (Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health), and the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and practitioners from The World Health Organisation (WHO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médécins Sans Frontières (MSF), and Chatham House to discuss this research agenda.

Last year, Research Fellow Dr Hassaan Afzal was seconded to WHO in Geneva and has written a blog post about his research into attacks on health care.

Bertrand Taithe, Executive Director of HCRI, said: “This is something that is simultaneously a research object for us, but is a very significant area of concern, and an area in which we want to express solidarity with all humanitarians who are a victim of violence.”

The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI)

HCRI is an interdisciplinary University of Manchester Institute shared by the Faculties of Humanities and Medical and Human Sciences, based within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. HCRI aims to facilitate improvements in crisis response on a global scale, providing a centre of excellence for practitioners in emergencies and conflicts.

HCRI is composed of four research and teaching pillars: Medical Humanitarian Action, Humanitarian Studies, Disaster Management, Conflict Response HCRI has developed a range of postgraduate and undergraduate programmes responding to the international demand for research-informed teaching in humanitarian studies. In 2018, HCRI is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with a series of events.

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