13 million Afghan children in dire need of international aid, says UNICEF

'Afghanistan is a tough place to be a child,' a UN leader said


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Published: Sun 20 Mar 2022, 10:17 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Mar 2022, 10:22 PM

Nearly 13 million children in Afghanistan are in dire need of international assistance, said communications chief for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Afghanistan, Sam Mort, according to a media report.

“Afghanistan is a tough place to be a child, there are huge challenges right now in being a child. There are 13 million in need of humanitarian aid, there are 4 million out of school. We know that 8 out of 10 people in Afghanistan are drinking water that is infected with bacteria. We need to do better for the children of Afghanistan,” Tolo News quoted Mort as saying.

The UNICEF communications chief called on donors to provide USD 2 billion in aid as soon as possible for providing educational and health services for Afghan children. However, she added that it is only 15 per cent funded.

Meanwhile, Afghan brother-sister duo - Ahmad and Zainab - have expressed worries that they might have to leave school to be the breadwinners of their family.

“I do not have the money to buy pen and a notebook to go to school, I work to find bread for my family. My father has a disability and cannot work,” the media outlet quoted Ahmad, a child labourer as saying.

“Some nights we sleep hungry, we do not have anything to eat,” said Zainab, who is also a child labourer.


Notably, children’s rights institutions have expressed concern regarding the challenges faced by Afghan children, which, according to UNICEF, have risen to unprecedented levels due to the recent developments in the country and the economic crisis in Afghanistan, according to Tolo News.

Mass poverty in Afghanistan that is triggered by people’s displacement, unemployment, conflicts, and now political transformation have led millions of people to starve.

Children are the most affected among them as they are now suffering from the spread of measles in the country, Khaama Press reported.

The international aid agencies have been calling on the World Community to support the Afghan people at a time when they are experiencing the worst humanitarian situation in decades, the media outlet added.

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