Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Crisis and the Diplomatic Dance
Thusday, June 9, 2022 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET
With public and political attention focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the aftermath of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has vanished from the front pages of the media. In March, 24.4 million people (out of 40 million) in Afghanistan required humanitarian assistance to survive, according to UN estimates. Meanwhile, the Taliban has tightened its grip. Girls over the age of 12 are still not allowed to go back to school, women are not allowed to travel long distances without a male´s supervision, the media has to follow tight censorship and many other rights are limited. Are we seeing efforts around the world to tighten the noose on the Taliban, or give them concessions? Should the international aid community support a government that acts against conditionalities and values, or hold back the direly needed help that millions of people depend on? What is the future of Afghanistan’s private sector, security, and state institutions? Join us for a discussion of Afghanistan on Thursday, June 9th from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EDT when we are joined by Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza, Founder and President of Mantraya & Visiting Research Fellow, SWP, Berlin; Palwasha Hassan; Director of the Afghan Women’s Educational Center; and Scott Worden, Director of Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
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Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza
Shanthie Mariet D’Souza is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin; Founder & President, Mantraya; Board Director at Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, Colombo; Visiting Faculty and Member of Research & Advisory Committee at the Naval War College, Goa; Non-resident scholar, Middle East Institute, Washington D.C.; Research Fellow at WeltTrends-Institut für internationale Politik, Potsdam, Germany; International Advisor, Nordic Counter Terrorism Network, Helsinki, Finland; Member, Board of Studies, School of International & Area Studies, Goa University; Editorial board member of Small Wars & Insurgencies (Routledge: UK); Adviser for Independent Conflict Research and Analysis, London.
Dr D’Souza’s research interests and expertise include: Countering terrorism, insurgencies and violent extremism; Non-state actors, illicit networks and conflict economy; Politics of aid, development, gender and security in Afghanistan; Prospects for long term stabilization of Afghanistan; Women, peace and conflict resolution; State and Peace building in fragile states; Security Sector Reform; International interventions, Aid delivery, Governance and Post conflict stabilization; Strategic Communications; Non-traditional security threats and crisis response in Asia; India’s foreign, maritime and security policy; Indian Ocean region; Great power competition, Emerging powers & the Indo-Pacific; Prospects for Regional Cooperation in South and South East Asia.
As Team leader for Local Planning and Budgeting–IDLG-UNDP-LOGO project, Kabul, Afghanistan ( 2020); Adviser, Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2015-16); International Election Observer for the audit and recount of Afghanistan’s Presidential Runoff elections,( 2014); Senior Transition Consultant, United Nations Mine Action Service (2013), Kabul and External Reviewer for the country programme of Action Aid International, Afghanistan (2011), she has worked with governmental and non-governmental sectors for more than a decade and conducted field based studies in various provinces of Afghanistan. She has also conducted field research in Pakistan, China, Africa, Australia, Canada, United States, Jammu and Kashmir and India’s North East.
Dr D’Souza has been a Founding Professor, Kautilya School of Public Policy, Hyderabad (2021-2022); Visiting Research Associate at the School of Business & Governance, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia (2017); Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore ( 2010-14); Associate Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses, New Delhi (2006-10); Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Research associate at South Asia Studies, The Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC( 2005-06).
Among her most recent published work are edited books titled Countering Insurgencies and Violent Extremism in South and South East Asia (Cass Military Studies, Routledge: UK), Afghanistan in Transition: Beyond 2014?, co-edited books, Perspectives on South Asian Security and Saving Afghanistan. She has guest edited a special issue on “Countering insurgencies and violent extremism in South Asia” in Small Wars & Insurgencies (UK: Routledge), February 2017. She has contributed chapters to edited books, journal articles, encyclopedias, yearbooks and regional surveys and op-eds in the media.
She has published in international peer reviewed journals including Small Wars & Insurgencies (UK: Routledge), Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs (Sage), The Journal of South Asian Development (Sage), South Asian Survey( Sage), Contemporary South Asia (London: Routledge), Strategic Analysis (Routledge), Journal of Defence Studies, Combating Terrorism Exchange (Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, USA), Small Wars Journal, (Small Wars Foundation, Bethesda, USA), Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, (Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University: Washington DC), The Journal of International Security Affairs, No. 20, (Washington DC), Welt Trends: Journal for International Politics and Comparative Studies (Germany: University of Potsdam), and others. Her work on Afghanistan and India have been published in The Europa Regional Surveys of the World, Europa World, (Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge) and Encyclopedia Britannica. Dr D’Souza has been interviewed by various media outlets and her writings on Afghanistan and South Asia have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Strait Times (Singapore), The Hindu (India), Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Business Standard (India), The Business Times (Singapore), among others.
Palwasha Hassan is a senior fellow at the Georgetown University, Institute for Women Peace and Security (GWIPS). She holds a master’s degree in Post-war Recovery Studies from York University, UK, and remained a former fellow in the United States Institute of Peace. Palwasha Hassan is a dedicated Women’s Rights activist pioneering many critical works to promote Women’s rights and civil society in Afghanistan. Her achievements, among others, include the first women’s legal support organization Roazana (1997), Women and Street Children Center (1998), Women, Children Safe Home Network Manager (1999), Irfan Cultural Center. She co-founded a visionary women’s rights movement in Afghanistan by setting up the Afghan Women Network that has played a pivotal role in Women’s rights advocacy for the last 26 years. She led several initiatives and project teams that supported pro- women’s rights law in Afghanistan. She contributed to equal law in Afghanistan, including the Afghan Constitution (2003-2004), Eradicating VAW law (2009), family law, and Shiite personal laws draft proposals based on progressive Islamic models.
She has been one of the 1000 women nominees for Nobel Peace Prize (2005), as one of the finalists of the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought by the European Parliament for her outstanding contribution in support of human rights and freedom of expression, and recently received Hilary Rodham Clinton Award for exceptional leadership and dedication to human rights and women’s rights.
Scott Worden is director of Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). He comes into this role with an extensive background in reconstruction, development, democracy and governance, policy, among others; as well as extensive regional expertise on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Prior to joining USIP, Worden was director of the Lessons Learned Program at the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), and served as acting director of policy as well as a senior policy advisor for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In the latter position, he was responsible for advising senior officials on strategies for sustainable development in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
At his previous time with USIP, Worden directed Rule of Law development programs for the USIP and served as a United Nations-appointed Electoral Complaints Commissioner for the 2009 Afghanistan elections, as well as advising the U.N. on elections in 2005-06.
Worden has a decade of experience working on Afghanistan issues and working in the field.
Originally from Boston, Mr. Worden earned his bachelor’s at Colgate University and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.
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