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UNICEF ‘very anxious’ concerning the future for girls and kids in Afghanistan

Afghans proceed to attend at Kabul Worldwide Airport as 1000’s of Afghans rush to flee the Afghan capital of Kabul, on August 18, 2021.

Anadolu Company | Getty Photos

The chief director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, has advised CNBC that the company’s “deepest concern” following the withdrawal of U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan is the impression on kids’s and ladies’s rights and training. 

Talking solely to CNBC Friday, Fore mentioned a number of the different huge challenges on the bottom in Afghanistan embody unaccompanied kids and persevering with immunization applications for preventable illnesses. 

“We’re very anxious concerning the standing of girls and kids … we’d like the ladies as academics, as healthcare staff, in kids’s hospitals as docs; we’d like the ladies to have the ability to work within the society. We’re, as but, unclear in some areas if that is going to be allowed,” she mentioned. 

Her feedback got here because the U.S. and its allies completed their evacuation efforts from Kabul airport, successfully ending a two-decade struggle sparked by the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11, 2001. 

Fore mentioned that guaranteeing all kids’s entry to training within the nation is one other key focus for UNICEF, the United Nations company accountable for the safety and improvement of kids and their rights. 

Fore advised CNBC that even earlier than the present disaster that they had been “working with parts of the Taliban in varied components of the nation,” and that in some areas colleges are at the moment open with ladies and boys going to high school. 

“Previously 20 years, we’ve had a really giant acquire in training, so we have tripled the variety of colleges,” she added. “We used to have 1 million kids going to high school [in Afghanistan]; now there are 10 million kids, and greater than four million are ladies, we do not need to go backwards 

Requested if UNICEF had been reassured by the Taliban that colleges would stay open, Fore mentioned the company hoped it might be the case. 

“The Taliban is just not monolithic. So every district, every space, every faculty, is totally different. And so we speak to the entire related authorities and we’re encouraging it, however we will use everybody’s advocacy concerning the significance of going to high school for each ladies and boys, as a result of boys now are topic to recruitment into lots of the native militia,” she mentioned. 

“We wish boys in class and we would like ladies in class, we would like the way forward for Afghanistan’s, effectively their younger individuals, to have an opportunity.”

Fore grew to become govt director of the company in 2018. She mentioned the group was additionally “notably anxious” concerning the excessive numbers of unaccompanied kids in Afghanistan, since current occasions unfolded. 

“Many have been separated from their households. Some have been within the airport space, both simply exterior the gate or contained in the gate,” she mentioned. 

Nilofar Bayat, captain of the Afghan wheelchair basketball crew, arrives at Torrejon Air Base exterior Madrid, Spain, on Aug. 20, 2021, along with her compatriots after being evacuated from Kabul.

Mariscal | Pool | Reuters

“The true safety disaster [is] to attempt to get these kids again with their households. Have their households gone on planes they usually’ve been left behind? Or have they been despatched over the fence and their households are nonetheless in Kabul?” 

Immunization applications 

Fore additionally mentioned that defending the continued well being applications for preventable illnesses was an necessary focus for UNICEF, as immunization charges in Afghanistan had dropped considerably. 

“In order that implies that polio vaccinations, measles vaccinations, all of the issues that we attempt to preserve at bay, which might be preventable illnesses, we have to get them began once more,” she harassed. 

Requested concerning the criticism the U.S. has obtained following the withdrawal of troops from the nation, Fore mentioned, “I’ll depart blame to others.” 

“We’re simply working so laborious to attempt to attain the wants of the individuals. I can let you know that individuals are simply terrified. They’re anxious concerning the future, they do not know what lies forward. They don’t seem to be positive the place they’ll get their meals, is the store open, the banks are closed, you already know, salaries aren’t transferring. They’re simply attempting to outlive, and so that is what we’re centered on, simply survival of those individuals,” she added. 

UNICEF has a 65-year historical past of working in Afghanistan and Fore advised CNBC it’s persevering with to plan for the long run within the nation. The company lately launched a $192 million attraction to handle the escalating disaster. 

“[it] is some huge cash, however we predict we’ll want it in Afghanistan. And we’ll want it within the coming months and years. So we’re planning to remain and keep by the aspect of the numerous Afghan kids who want us,” she mentioned.


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