General Article Afghanistan: war shatters bodies and souls. Four decades of war shatters nations.

Topic Selected: War and Conflict Book Volume: 401

Kabul (ICRC) – The scars of war last generations. Destroyed buildings can one day be rebuilt, but shattered limbs do not regrow. Children re-live trauma long after the bomb blasts subside. Family members killed leave a permanent void.

The people of Afghanistan have lived through 40 years of conflict. In my years as the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross I have seen agony, suffering and despair in many of the world’s war zones. But I cannot begin to express how deeply four decades of war damages a nation.

That’s why Afghanistan’s challenges are so mammoth. The good news is that humanitarian action helps stabilize society. Compassion and empathy help heal the wounds of war. Funding that ensures health care, clean water and schools can help pull Afghan families from misery’s depths. It’s crucial that the international community finds solutions, even if temporary, to ensure continued funding. The needs of Afghan families can’t wait for the resolution of political ...

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