In 1984, our first year of operation, NED began providing support to the efforts of brave Afghan civil society groups with a democratic vision for their country. The Endowment has worked with hundreds of Afghan organizations since then, to advance the rights of all, especially women and minority groups and to work for their inclusion in public life; to encourage freedom of information and an independent media sector; to foster democratic values and processes; to build free markets; to fight corruption and demand good governance.
The past two weeks have been extremely difficult as we watched the Taliban seize power once again, placing all of these gains, and so many lives at risk— especially as we remember the great risks and sacrifices that were necessary to achieve these hard won gains.
Despite obvious setbacks and challenges ahead, the Endowment remains committed to our partners, and is doing all we can to assist them at this perilous and consequential moment. “We are standing in solidarity with our Afghan partners who have dedicated their lives to building a culture of democratic values in their country,” said Damon Wilson, NED president and chief executive officer. “We are committed to supporting those seeking to continue their work, even under these dire circumstances.”