Security forecast in Afghanistan + security of women expat workers

Hi all

Am new to this group and have been traveling around the world working with NGOs and thinking of looking for a job in Afghanistan. Would like to know if the security situation in Afghanistan is steadily getting better or worse .. Am getting mixed reviews from people ... so terribly confused  :/

Also would like to know if it would be safe for women to come and work there .. with some large NGOs..and what precautions they need to take.

thanks and regards
JVMD

JVMD :

Hi all

Am new to this group and have been traveling around the world working with NGOs and thinking of looking for a job in Afghanistan. Would like to know if the security situation in Afghanistan is steadily getting better or worse .. Am getting mixed reviews from people ... so terribly confused  :/

Also would like to know if it would be safe for women to come and work there .. with some large NGOs..and what precautions they need to take.

thanks and regards
JVMD

Security is as bad or as good as always, depending on whether your glass is half full or half empty.  I, for one, would not be recommending that a single female come to Afghanistan to work unless their employer can show that they have a good security system in place, have you covered at all times in all locations, even in the so called 'safe '
areas. 
I spent 2 years working there so do speak from experience and have friends who come and go from there on various short term assignments.

I am currently in Afghanistan. Security is a big issue and each organization has their own detail on it. Find out before you come....and take nothing for granted...

Hello
I have worked in Kabul on and off for 5 the last five years, for NGOs and contracted development projects. I have never had any problem there however the good old days of Kabul are over for now. We used to have a lot of social life, places to go, and parties, but now most of the expat restaurants and pubs are closed and security is much tighter.  Unless you are invited as a guest to private houses, there is not much to do anymore at night.  I used to travel and walk all over Kabul but it would not be recommended to walk around now.  Most likely any job you find there will ensure you have strict security and you will not be able to do much so, it will be very safe.  There are no specific threats to females, but all foreigners can remain a target. You must dress conservatively and cover your hair when in public.  Working in Afg is a great experience however so if you find work, you should accept and make the best of it.  Mare

Thank you all for your helpful comments. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to educate me better. All of you have written about security systems of organisations - could you please elaborate.. What should I be looking for or asking for regarding security. I will soon be speaking to them to decide.

Hi. regarding security , like I said it will most likely be very strict in  this time.  Ask how much movement are you allowed? For  example What is your accommodation? Is it a dedicated guest house in which you live with your colleagues, or is it a big compound which houses many projects and typically has a canteen, gym and a bar. Where is your office to be and how do you get there? Probably you will be transported in a hard vehicle with armed expat escort (armored B6) and also with police escort.  Will you receive security threat updates on ur SMS? road closures, and other incidents and so forth should be texted to you. Yr security provider will manage and clear all your movements outside of where u live ...  You will want to ask , are you allowed any personal movements such as to/from the supermarket or a friends house or a restaurant,  or are you going to be limited only to work and home?  I live in Kabul low profile and manage my own movements with radio taxi service but no security company will ever allow this. The problem is project insurances don't allow their people to move or go anywhere.  I have my own business in Kabul so I get around all this as I have my own place over there.  But even so, when Im under, for example, a USAID contract I must adhere to their strict rules which I do not like. Over security will only alienate you from afghan colleagues and counterparts in the work realm.  in my opinion the private security companies operating in Afg are all just a rip off and there for the big bucks,  If you run around in a armed escort B6,  wearing body armour, you are just advertising yourself as foreign, and  asking for trouble whereas if you travel low profile, vary your movement timings, and just act normal no one will notice or care about what you are doing.  Sadly security companies do not agree with my view of things!  It is important you ask all these questions should you get offered a position there and then you must decide how restricted a lifestyle you are willing to live. I hope this info helped, feel free to ask more - Mare

MEtravels .. thanks a lot for all this information. I have been speaking to them and it seems that things are in line.

Thanks again all of you for your time and support

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