LILLE, France — NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan coincided with a resurgence of security and an increase in civilian casualties leading to a sharp increase in the poverty rate in 2018. According to the World Bank, due to the country’s economic downturn, the overall poverty rate in Afghanistan increased from 55% to 72% in 2020. While NATO is predominantly an organization focused on defense rather than humanitarian work, the security challenges that poverty propagated incite NATO’s strategy to eradicate poverty.
In a speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2010, he emphasized that while NATO is still a defense alliance, it operates with the principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Thus, the member states, which are often the most powerful and affluent countries in the world, take on a duty to use their riches to stop indiscriminate human suffering irrespective of geographical constraints.
Heads of state and government emphasized the primacy of human security at the Madrid Summit in June 2022. According to the 2022 Strategic Concept, NATO’s strategy to eradicate poverty includes crisis management and prevention, which place a priority on human security, particularly the protection of people and the reduction of civilian harm. Additionally, it commits NATO to collaborate with other international players to address the larger issues feeding crises and widespread instability as well as to aid in stabilization and rebuilding.
NATO Aid Provision Mechanism
The NATO alliance does not intervene in states unless the government or the United Nations request its assistance. NATO can, however, extend support to humanitarian organizations that diffuse aid to regions, which can hardly survive without aid.
NATO allies possess the military assets that facilitate the distribution of food and the transfer of people to shelters during times of jeopardy. Their helicopters and airplanes can land at remote outposts, and their engineers can construct bridges to connect locations that are otherwise inaccessible.
The crisis response unit as a part of NATO’s strategy to eradicate poverty, which is available around-the-clock, can serve as a clearinghouse. NATO may deliver aid swiftly where people need it by physically matching the offer of assistance with the need. In addition to having the resources to carry out all of this, NATO also has a wealth of expertise. The Alliance has assisted nations on more than 50 occasions during the previous 12 years. Here are notable instances when NATO provided aid.
NATO’s Notable Aid Provisions
- Since June 1999, NATO has been in charge of Kosovo Force (KFOR), a peacekeeping mission. When NATO’s 78-day bombing campaign against Milosevic’s dictatorship failed to stop the violence in Kosovo, KFOR originated. Resolution 1244 (1999) of the United Nations Security Council and the Military-Technical Agreement between NATO, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia provide the legal foundation for the operation. The initial goals of KFOR were to prevent the resumption of hostilities, create a secure environment and guarantee public safety and order, demilitarise the Kosovo Liberation Army, aid in global humanitarian efforts and work in tandem with the international civic presence. KFOR still helps to preserve a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and everyone’s ability to move about.
- The most catastrophic earthquake to occur since the Alliance’s founding in 1949 on August 17, 1999, struck the northwestern region of Turkey. In this catastrophe, there were around 15,000 fatalities and 48,000 injuries. In addition, Turkey experienced significant economic losses and more than 57,000 homes sustained catastrophic damage. Through the EADRCC, Turkey requested help from EAPC nations on August 18, 1999. EAPC nations were notified of requests. This urgent appeal for help received responses from all of the NATO members as well as 17 Partner nations. The Turkish Crisis Centre, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, EAPC Capitals and Delegations in NATO Headquarters were all in close communication with the EADRCC throughout the emergency crisis.
Partnership for Peace has allowed NATO to cooperate with its Partners in disaster preparedness as well as in disaster response in partner countries and NATO countries. NATO believes that it is necessary to coordinate, cooperate and communicate since everything in the globe is interconnected and no one country or organization can address every issue. Overall, the NATO alliance contributes to the eradication of poverty while focusing primarily on providing security.
– Karisma Maran