UNICEF welcomes new EU financing for education and learning for more than 200,000 primary school children in Afghanistan

06 December 2023
On 5 December 2023, Raffaella Iodice, European Union Chargée d’Affaires a.i. to Afghanistan, visits girls in a primary school in Kabul, Afghanistan.
UNICEF Afghanistan
Raffaella Iodice, European Union Chargée d’Affaires a.i. to Afghanistan, visits girls in a primary school in Kabul, Afghanistan.

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - The European Union (EU) is allocating EUR 25 million to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to improve learning environments for 200,000 girls and boys in primary public schools across Afghanistan. Many schools do not have enough qualified teachers, water and sanitation facilities, teaching and learning materials, or boundary walls.

With this contribution, UNICEF will improve the quality of existing school infrastructure in 385 public primary schools. This includes restoring classrooms, establishing gender-sensitive sanitation facilities, and school boundary walls.

The project will also support in-service teacher training to improve the quality of teaching, particularly in the early grades.

“Classrooms should feel like second homes for children. When classrooms are child-friendly and safe, children are motivated to learn. Their attendance, performance and completion rates go up,” said Raffaella Iodice, the EU Chargée d’Affaires a.i. to Afghanistan.

About half of children in Afghanistan are not in school, and for those in school, the quality of learning is among the lowest in the world. According to the 2022-23 Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, only 13.6 per cent of children in Grades 2 and 3 have acquired basic reading skills and only 18 per cent have basic numeracy skills.

This two-year project will build on UNICEF’s ongoing support to education in public schools and community-based education classes.

“We are proud to partner with the EU to keep thousands of children in school. Continued investment in the public school system is critical to support girls and boys who are still attending school. Education remains a beacon of hope for girls and boys in Afghanistan,” said Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative to Afghanistan.

Since 2008, the EU has contributed to UNICEF's work to improve the well-being of children in Afghanistan through investments in education, health, nutrition and child protection.

Media contacts

Daniel Timme
Chief, Communication & Advocacy
UNICEF Afghanistan
Tel: +93 799 987 110
Tim Gillmair
Press and Information Officer
EU Delegation to Afghanistan
Tel: +32 4860 84 32 98


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

UNICEF has been in Afghanistan for over 70 years. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Afghanistan, visit https://www.unicef.org/afghanistan/ or follow us on X, Facebook, Instagram or subscribe to our YouTube channel.