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Nearly 10 million Afghan children in desperate need of humanitarian aid: UNICEF

Nearly 10 million Afghan children in desperate need of humanitarian aid: UNICEF

(Representational image)

United Nations: Around 10 million children in Afghanistan are in "desperate need of humanitarian aid", said UNICEF Afghanistan Representative, Herve Ludovic De Lys, adding that UNICEF is appealing for about $200 million to respond to their basic needs.

Herve De Lys told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York that the UN agency appeals cover a variety of sectors, including water and sanitation, child protection, nutrition, health, and education.

"This is clearly a child-protection crisis in a country that is already one of the worst places on earth to be a child," he said.

De Lys added that those least responsible for this crisis, are paying the highest price, including the children killed and injured in a series of atrocities in Kabul since August 26, reports Xinhua news agency.

This year alone, more than 550 children have been killed and more than 1,400 others injured, he noted.

Against the backdrop of conflict and insecurity, children are living in communities that are running out of water because of the drought, he said, adding they're missing life-saving vaccines, including against polio, a disease that can paralyse children for life.

Many are so malnourished they lie in hospital beds too weak to grasp an outstretched finger, said De Lys.

"These children are deprived of their right to a healthy and protected childhood" he added.

UNICEF also expressed their concern about reports that international donors are cutting or pausing aid to the country not just for the agency but for other aid groups as well at this difficult time.

The agency is also worried about ensuring the safety and security needed to deliver programs nationwide, especially for its female national staff and female social workers, he said.

The Representative urged all partners to support Unicef as it starts implementing its scale-up plan, which includes providing mobile health clinics; vaccinating babies against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases, and vaccinating people against Covid-19; treating children who are severely acutely malnourished; delivering water to areas affected by the drought, and distributing hygiene kits; getting children ready for school, and school readiness for children for the new school term next month.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi has urged the international community to help the many millions in need in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries.

In an appeal on Monday for long-term solutions for the people of Afghanistan, the UN Refugee chief said that although thousands had managed to escape via Kabul airport, "there will still be millions who need the international community to act".

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TAGS:UNICEFAfghan childrenhumanitarian aid
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