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UNICEF concerned about Afghan children in war

UNICEF concerned about Afghan children in war

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On
Nov 20, 2019 - 18:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): UNICEF representative for Afghanistaninfo-icon says Afghan children’s lives have improved despite war threats but still more work is needed for protection of their rights.

Aboubacar Kampo, UNICEF representative for Afghanistan, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said that a significant progress has been made with regard to protection of children’s rights in Afghanistan, compared to the situation five years ago.

He said UNICEF was operating in Afghanistan for the last 25 years, during which the problems of children have reduced.

Today, November 20 is the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This day is celebrated as Worldinfo-icon Children’s Day. Afghanistan became member of the convention in 1994.

Kampo said member states of the convention were responsible to provide healthinfo-icon and educational services for children and protect the minors against violence.

“Efforts are on to reduce problems in these areas to zero until 2030”, he added.

Without giving details, he said the mortality rate of newborn children in Afghanistan has reduced compared to the past. He said today many children went to schools and many schools had been opened.

Violence

According to a United Nations report, around 3,500 children lost their lives and another 9,000 injured in Afghanistan during the last four years due to worsening security situation.

According to a report of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), one in each 100 children take part in war and a number of children are physically and mentally harassed in schools, workplaces and societyinfo-icon.

The UNICEF representative said his organization had developed many programs for ending violence against children in rural areas and provided parents there with awareness.

He said UNICEF did not suspend its operations even in harsh conflict situation in Afghanistan. “I, the international community and UNICEF are concerned about children’s lives in war, all sides should cooperate in protection of children,” he added.

Educationinfo-icon

According to reports, about one million Afghan children were attending schools in 2001, with almost no girls, compared to 9.9 million children including 38 percent of them girls now, based on the Ministry of Education information.

However, Kampo said 3.5 million children, 60 percent of them girls, in Afghanistan were still deprived of education.

UNICEF last year said that 3.7 million children, 60 percent of them girls, were deprived of education in Afghanistan.

According to a IAHRC report, 65 percent of Afghan children are deprived of education and engaged in hard labor.

The UNICEF representative for Afghanistan said their organization in cooperation with the Ministry of Education (MoE) opened 5,000 rural schools where 170,000 children were studying.

“UNICEF has also opened special educational courses for children, we support public schools and help needy children in education,” he said.

Health

The UNICEF representative says around 600,000 children in Afghanistan face serious poverty every year and need help.

Kampo said UNICEF provided different health equipment at 209 different healthcare centers for reducing newborn mortality rate.

According to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), 257 in each 1,000 children under five years of age previously lost their lives compared to 49 deaths now.

UNICEF on November 17 said that under five deaths in Afghanistan was the world’s third highest after Angola and Sierra Leone.

All should work for children

The UNICEF representative for Afghanistan said, “Not only UNICEF, but parents, the government and civil society should also work for children.”

He asked the government to increase budget for children’s education, health and eliminating violence against them in relevant ministries.

mds/ma

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