Swedish Committee for Afghanistan pauses operations

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) has paused its operations in the country, as reported by Swedish media.

The specific reasons for this suspension have not been disclosed. However, reports indicate that the halt follows the Taliban’s revocation of the organization’s license.

Andreas Stefansson, the secretary general of SCA, mentioned to Swedish media, “We have experienced lately that it has become increasingly difficult.” Expressing his concerns, Stefansson stated on X, “Saddened by the situation, worried about the consequences for the millions we reach in Afghanistan.”

He reassured, “But the strong commitment that characterizes SCA remains. We continue to do our utmost to find ways forward.”

July Suspension

Taliban, in July 2023, announced the suspension of all Swedish activities in Afghanistan in response to the desecration of the Holy Quran during a protest in Stockholm.

The Taliban’s directive required Sweden to acknowledge the suspension and demanded an official apology for “insulting the Holy Quran and the Muslim faith.”

Following the Taliban’s July 11 directive, which ordered the cessation of “all of Sweden’s activities in Afghanistan,” the SCA temporarily halted some of its operations while it sought the necessary approvals to resume its critical services.

SCA’s Impact

The SCA focuses on providing education and healthcare services in Afghanistan. In the previous year, SCA-operated clinics in Wardak and Nuristan provinces reported approximately 2.5 million patient visits. Moreover, SCA’s educational programs reached over 133,000 children.

The organization also extended vital support to more than 20,000 individuals with disabilities, employing over 8,000 Afghans across 18 provinces.

Founded in 1980, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan is a non-governmental entity dedicated to supporting Afghans’ rights to self-determination. Its operations have been supported by a variety of donors, contributing to its longstanding commitment to improving Afghan society.