Photo: (c) Sandra Calligaro for ACF France
Invitation to the Afghanistan conference and photo-exhibition ‘Waiting for Hope’ on September 12th 2018 13.00-17.30 in Copenhagen.

Take part in discussing the strengthening of the humanitarian response and development work in Afghanistan.

What works in a fragile and conflict affected state like Afghanistan? And what does not work?

It is estimated that more than two million Afghan refugees are either internally displaced or have returned from other countries. How do we ensure that Afghans are not just ‘Waiting for Hope’?

Save the date, September 12th, from 13.00-16.00, for the Afghanistan conference and photo-exhibition, followed by a reception 16.00-17.30. The event takes place at AFUK (Akademiet for Utæmmet Kreativitet), Enghavevej 82b, just two kilometers from The City Square in Copenhagen.

There is an urgent need for international humanitarian assistance to the more than two million Afghans -whether internally displaced, returned refugees, or vulnerable host communities – who are suffering from the violent and protracted conflict in their country where the security situation only continues to deteriorate.

The media coverage of Afghanistan primarily focuses on corruption and terror attacks. Partly because it has been difficult for journalists to gain access and portray other aspects of the conflict, in recent years.

The conference will be a forum where you can discuss the humanitarian response and development priorities in Afghanistan together with other participants. The panelists will talk about which of our efforts have been most effective and where the biggest challenges lie.

The Minister of Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs will open the conference.

Afghanistan is currently one of the largest recipients of Danish development aid. The overall Danish development budget for 2017-2020 is approximately DKK 425 million a year to the fragile state.

The panel consists of five experts: Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ECHO (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations), Secretary General Christian Friis Bach from Danish Refugee Council, Director of DACAAR in Kabul, John Morse, and a member of the Afghan Diaspora with experience in development work in Afghanistan.

As part of the conference, the award-winning photographer, Sandra Calligaro will present her photo-exhibition ‘Afghan Stories: Waiting for Hope, which is funded by ECHO. Through her exceptional photographs, Sandra portrays the extremely challenging situation of many Afghans, particularly that of women and children. But the exhibition also sheds light on how humanitarian aid creates a better life for the poor and vulnerable people in Afghanistan. Since 1994, ECHO has contributed EUR 775 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and is co-financing this conference.

Politicians, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ECHO, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, experts, scientists, NGOs who work in fragile states, opinion-makers, journalists, the Afghan diaspora in Denmark, and others interested in the development of Afghanistan are invited to the conference and the following reception.

Journalist Keld Broksø will be the moderator at the conference that will be held in English.

Tentative programme

13:00-13:05 Welcome by moderator Keld Broksø

13.05-13.10 Klaus Løkkegaard, DACAAR, and Mikkel Trolle, Danish Refugee Council: Why this conference now and what do we want to achieve?

13:10-13-20 Presentation by Christian Friis Bach, Secretary General of Danish Refugee Council, and clarifying questions

13:10-13-20 Presentation by John Morse, Director of DACAAR, and clarifying questions

13:30-13:45 Opening speech by Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation

13:45-14:00 Questions from the floor to Minister

14.00-14:15 Presentation by Ambassador Jakob Brix Tange, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

14:15-14:30 Break

14:30-14:40 Presentation by Irene Horejs, Head of Unit in ECHO, and clarifying questions

14:40-15:00 Inputs from other organisations and stakeholders working in Afghanistan, among others Internatonal Media Support and Danish People’s Aid

15:00-15:10 Presentation by Tahmina Salik from the Afghan Diaspora in Denmark, clarifying questions

15:10-15:45 Plenary discussion with questions and input from the floor

15:45-15:50 Conference closing remarks by Keld Broksø

15:50-16:00 Photographer Sandra Calligaro presents the photo exhibition ‘Afghan stories: Waiting for Hope’

16:00-17:30 Photo exhibition and reception

The event is free, but you need to sign up. Any questions regarding registration should be directed to

Best regards,
Mikkel Trolle, Regional Director for Asia in DRC
Klaus Løkkegaard, Head of Secretariat, DACAAR