Linda Norgrove Foundation fears Afghan staff will be ‘left to the wolves’

·2-min read

A charity set up in memory of a Scots aid worker who was killed after being kidnapped by the Taliban fears its staff in Afghanistan will be “left to the wolves”.

The Linda Norgrove Foundation was set up by her parents, John and Lorna Norgrove, as a way of continuing their daughter’s work after she died in an attempted rescue by US forces in 2010.

The charity has two staff, sisters aged 25 and 29, who it said are “holed up in their flat in Kabul” after the Taliban seized control of the city.

John and Lorna Norgrove , the parents of aid worker Linda Norgrove, set up the charity after their daughter’s death (Time Ireland/PA)
John and Lorna Norgrove , the parents of aid worker Linda Norgrove, set up the charity after their daughter’s death (Time Ireland/PA)

At a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday afternoon, Boris Johnson was expected to press US President Joe Biden to keep his troops in the Afghan capital for longer.

The Taliban, however, has insisted that evacuations “will not be allowed” after the August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of US troops.

A statement from the Linda Norgrove Foundation told how the charity had been lobbying MPs to help with efforts to get their staff out of Kabul “where they fear for their safety”.

The two women have been “going out as little as possible because they feel unsafe on the street”, the charity said, adding that they were also “finding sleep difficult because of the possibility of the Taliban knocking on the door”.

The statement continued: “They have been incredibly competent and valuable staff in recent years and they are now in a very vulnerable position because they have been working for a UK charity whose main purpose is to both empower and support women in Afghanistan.

“[This is] a situation made even more precarious because they are Hazara – an ethnic community which is often the target of attacks by the Taliban.

“They have been brave in giving interviews to the media as the situation deteriorated and this will also make them a target.”

The foundation said it had enlisted the help of Conservative, Labour and SNP MPs, including current ministers within the government, but added: “We don’t seem to be getting any further forward.”

It complained that of all the groups of people eligible for evacuation from Afghanistan, Afghan employees of charities such as the Linda Norgrove Foundation “rather predictably, come bottom of the list below, for instance, Afghan government officials”.

In its statement the foundation said: “It looks like our two staff, who have been so committed to helping young Afghan women get a life of their own, are going to be left to the wolves whilst officials from one of the most corrupt governments of all time get airlifted to safety.”

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