Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What characterises IAM?
A. There are four things that characterise IAM: a) IAM takes a long term perspective (we were established in 1966), b) IAM is focused on innovation by having expatriate professionals work closely with Afghan experts to find new solutions to old problems, c) Expatriates in IAM are required to learn a local language and the local culture and d) IAM focuses on capacity building of Afghans.
Q. What is going to happen in 2014 when most of the foreign troops leave?
A. Only God Knows! The global media have focused on the ongoing war and other sad things happening in Afghanistan. Therefore many in the West believe that Afghanistan will slide further into trouble when most foreign troops leave in 2014. That may happen, but is certainly not the only scenario. Afghanistan existed long before 2001. Many Afghans have had enough of war and want to find a peaceful way forward. Our hope and prayers are that there will in due course be a negotiated settlement so that ordinary Afghans can peacefully live their lives in a stable country.
Q. Is it safe to work in Afghanistan?
A. IAM, like most NGOs, remains neutral in the present as well as previous conflicts in Afghanistan. The local population values our work and they consider us their guests. We are therefore normally protected by the communities we work with and not targeted. IAM also trains its staff and expatriate workers to deal with security issues and mitigate risks. Sadly there are occasions where NGO workers are mistakenly identified by one of the parties to the conflicts. Sometimes NGO workers are caught up in the cross fire and get wounded or killed.
Q. Do the IAM expatriate workers get a high salary working in Afghanistan?
A. No, all our expatriate workers come as volunteers. Some spend their own money to live and work in Afghanistan. Others are supported by local community groups in their own countries who are interested in the development of the Afghan people.
Q. How does IAM relate to the Afghan Government?
A. IAM has worked in Afghanistan for almost half a century. IAM is the longest, continually serving NGO in the country. IAM has protocols for all its projects with the relevant government Ministries and Departments. As an international NGO and guest in Afghanistan, IAM and its staff are not involved in politics. Our focus is on the Afghan people, particularly the poor.
Q. What is the difference between IAM and IOM?
A. IOM is the International Organization for Migration. It is the principal intergovernmental organization in the field of migration. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration, by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. IAM is the International Assistance Mission, an NGO that only works in Afghanistan and is registered in Switzerland.
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.