Children in Afghan cities facing challenges: UN
UNICEF Representative Peter Crowley said: “While internal displacement and migration of families to urban areas are increasing, basic services in these areas are often inadequate.”
A grim reminder of the reality came during the harsh winter in Afghanistan, which needed to ensure that its growing cities were truly fit for children, he said.
In The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World, the UN agency said greater urbanisation was inevitable. Children born in cities already account for 60 per cent of the increase in urban population.
“When we think of poverty, the image that traditionally comes to mind is that of a child in a rural village,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “But today, an increasing number of children living in slums and shantytowns are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the world…”
The report said cities offered children the advantages of urban schools, clinics and playgrounds, but they were also the settings for some of the greatest disparities in areas of health, education and other opportunities.
It added: “The deprivations endured by children in poor urban communities are often obscured by broad statistical averages that lump together all city dwellers – rich and poor alike…”
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