In Afghanistan, mending spirits and providing warmth
TALOQAN, Afghanistan, 18 November 2015 – “I am scared. I don’t want to come to school alone,” says 10-year-old Samira, a student at the Bibi Hajera High School in Taloqan, in Afghanistan’s Takhar province. Twelve girls at the school lost their lives and at least 38 were injured in a stampede, in one of the most tragic incidents reported during the earthquake that struck on 26 October.
Finding a way to stop child recruitment in Afghanistan
HERAT, Afghanistan, 7 October 2014 – The temperature is over 37°C (98°F) in this ancient city in western Afghanistan, but the young men standing in line in front of a police recruitment centre don’t seem to mind the heat. They have come to enrol in the Afghan National Police (ANP) – one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, but also a reliable source of income for tens of thousands of Afghans.
Afghan villagers struggle to cope with landslides, floods and an uncertain future
KHWAJA DU KOH, Afghanistan, 13 May 2014 – Flash floods and landslides in Afghanistan in the past weeks have affected 120,000 people across 16 provinces. An estimated 675 people have been killed, many of them swept away by floods or buried by mudslides.
In Kabul, an all-out effort to stop the spread of polio
KABUL, Afghanistan, 24 April 2014 – The sounds of car horns and the jingle of colourfully decorated trucks coming from Pakistan fill the dusty air as Afghan soldiers stand guard at the busy Pul-e-Charkhi checkpoint into Kabul city. Tens of thousands of vehicles pass through this checkpoint every day as they enter Kabul from the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Logar, Kunar, Laghman and as far as Pakistan.
Health care for children and women in remotest Afghanistan
HERAT, Afghanistan, 12 March 2014 – Bibi Gul Momand is a trained midwife. Her team, and others like it, visit villages that are more than 25 km from the nearest hospital or health centre. They bring care right to the doorstep of children and women like those in Jaghatai, who access life-saving interventions difficultly.
In the harsh Afghan winter, barely getting by
KABUL, Afghanistan, 12 February 2014 – Winter is always the most difficult time for Fereshta and her family. Their mud-brick house in Charahee Sarsabzi, an informal settlement camp in Kabul, has only a plastic sheet for a roof. Fereshta, her five siblings and her mother have been living here for the past seven years.
Giving displaced children in Afghanistan an education, and an opportunity
KABUL, Afghanistan, 18 December 2013 – Before arriving at the Charahi Qambar camp for internally displaced people, 16-year-old Agha LaLay had never attended school. He didn’t know how to read, didn’t know how to write, and his math skills were nonexistent.
A milestone in the effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 19 November 2013 – It’s an early start for Rahila*, a volunteer who knocks at every door in her community asking mothers to bring their children to get vaccinated against the crippling polio virus. The chill in the morning breeze doesn’t deter this determined health worker from doing her rounds.
Water for one million Afghan schoolchildren
HERAT, Afghanistan, 30 October 2013 – When you enter Tajrabavi Girls School in Herat, your eyes are drawn to the shiny, pastel-green pipes that skirt the new sink, and the sparkle of the water droplets that dance about as children drink clean water and wash their hands and faces.
Despite gains, future of Afghan girls' education remains uncertain
KABUL, Afghanistan, 28 October 2013 – Before the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Shaima Alkozai feared only one thing more than the regime’s harsh punishment: the fate of the millions of girls around her growing up without an education.
On the front lines of polio eradication in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 23 October 2013 – Eradicating polio in Afghanistan – one of only three countries where the disease remains endemic – is a battle taking place every day across the country. Against the larger backdrop of instability and suffering that continues to draw the world’s focus, it is also largely invisible.
An Afghan community comes together to ensure girls' education
HERAT, Afghanistan, 8 October 2013 – When the elders in Sangbast, a village in western Afghanistan close to the Iranian border, noticed that many of the local girls were not going to school, they set out to find a solution. What they came up with was simple, but it brought about a dramatic change: They built a school.
In Afghanistan, a UNICEF staff member stands strong as a champion for children's rights
KABUL, Afghanistan, 23 May 2013 – Mohammad Qasim Nazari started his career with UNICEF Afghanistan in 2001 when he was appointed as WASH Assistant with UNICEF in Herat, western Afghanistan. Later he was promoted to the position of WASH Officer in the same region.
With passion and hope, health workers share a simple message: breastfeed
KABUL, Afghanistan, 6 August 2013 - Zakiya is the proud mother of four healthy children, all of whom have been breastfed exclusively during their first six months, and complementarily breastfed till they turned 2 years old. Together with her husband, she has planned the age difference between her four children perfectly. With more than two years between each child, 37-year-old Zakiya is healthy, and her body has been strong enough to handle each pregnancy.
Promised in marriage, a young girl gets her childhood back
HERAT, Afghanistan, 30 July 2013 – When Farzana* was 10 years old, her father, a farmer and labourer in a small village in western Afghanistan, arranged for her to marry a man 40 years her senior. The groom, already married and the father of six children – most of them older than Farzana – paid $9,000 to Farzana’s father in return for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
In Kabul, Afghanistan - 1,000 classrooms, a world of difference
KABUL, Afghanistan, 27 June 2013 – Mursal Tura dreams of being a successful businesswoman. Her interest lies in the garment industry. The 21-year-old university student hopes one day to be a leading fashion entrepreneur in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, reaching the hardest to reach with vaccines
KABUL, Afghanistan, 10 May 2013 – It has been another painful journey back from the children’s hospital for 4-year old Akram, a trip the young boy has made several times in the past two weeks with his mother, Zarghona. Akram was diagnosed with measles, and the disease has made him feeble and tired, with a high fever and little appetite.
Podcast #69: In Afghanistan, a popular project combines skateboarding with education - with great success
NEW YORK, United States of America, 24 December 2012 – In 2007, Oliver Percovich landed in Kabul with nothing more than a couple of skateboards. Having learned to skate when he was 6 years old, Mr. Percovich had embraced the sport as a big part of his personality. But he never thought that this passion would lead to the creation of one of the most beloved projects in Afghanistan – Skateistan, a place where girls and boys go to skate and receive an education.
Programme aims to protect vulnerable children and reunite them with their families
KABUL, Afghanistan, 14 September 2012 - When Suraiya was 6 years old, her older brother eloped with a neighbour’s daughter. In an attempt to buy peace, Suraiya’s parents gave her to the neighbour’s family.
Student penpals in Afghanistan and Japan share hope amid hardship
FUKUSHIMA, Japan/KABUL, Afghanistan, 6 July 2012 – Sara's dream of seeing Yuka has finally come true. The two teenagers were great friends although they had never actually met.
In Afghanistan, UNICEF and the Government of Japan support the construction of child-friendly schools
BAMIYAN, Afghanistan, 14 June 2012 – It’s a long walk down a steep hill for 37-year-old Abdullah and his three daughters as they head to the local mosque that doubles as a make-shift school.
The Government of Japan has announced a pledge of US$9.3 million to fund polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 29 December 2011 – Meeting at the immunization centre of the Indira Ghandi Hospital in bustling Kabul on 10 December, representatives of the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNICEF announced the Government of Japan’s pledge of US$9.3 million to fund an infectious disease prevention programme for the children of Afghanistan.
UNICEF partners with religious communities to end violence against children
NEW YORK, USA, 29, November 2011—Mohamed, a 15-year-old in Mauritania, used to be frightened to go to his Madrassa (Qur’anic school) because he was regularly hit by the teacher. “It upset me a lot… sometimes I was beaten up badly,” he said.
Building a solid foundation for a brighter future in Afghanistan through education
PANJSHIR VALLEY, Afganistan, 8 November 2011 - In a neat, well designed classroom in the Panjshir Valley, 30 girls listen intently as their female teacher instructs them in grammar and writing. Although common today, this was largely unheard of only a decade ago. Under Taliban rule, schooling in Afghanistan was nearly brought to a complete halt, and many girls were expressly forbidden from receiving an education.
UNICEF aims to reduce the rates of infant and maternal mortality in Afghanistan
DAIKUNDI PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 19 September 2011 – Few roads lead to Daikundi, Afghanistan. It is the heartland of a hard land - so barren and remote, even the conflict cannot reach it. Ironically for a country at war, it is not violence that puts the lives of mothers and small children at risk but the simplest act of giving life and struggling to survive.
In Kabul, the Government of Japan funds new classrooms to improve education
KABUL, Afghanistan, 5 July 2011 – New classrooms, chairs and desks mean better education at Shirino High School, one of the schools renovated and refurbished with funds from the Government of Japan as part of its ‘1,000 Classrooms’ initiative.
Finnish funding enables UNICEF to provide safe water to school children in Afghanistan
MAZAR, Afghanistan, 23 May 2011 – The first thing that catches your eye, as you enter Abdul Khaleq School, is the sun glinting off the galvanized metal of the new water pump and sink and the sparkling of water droplets as children drink, and wash their hands and faces.
Despite security risks, health volunteers vaccinate children against polio in Afghanistan
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 8 April 2011 – During afternoon prayers, religious leader Abdul Wakil Mowlavzada speaks passionately to the men who have gathered at one of Jalalabad’s largest mosques. They listen intently as he talks about the importance of polio eradication.
Despite security risks, health volunteers vaccinate children against polio in Afghanistan
Despite security risks, health volunteers vaccinate children against polio in Afghanistan
Shelters for women and girls in Afghanistan
HERAT, Afghanistan, 14 March 2011 – No more than nine years old, she was taken from mother’s home to her husband, a man 14 years older than her. All she could take with her was a small doll she had made out of the cloth of her sister’s wedding dress.
UNICEF and Japan support '1,000 Classrooms Project' in Afghan capital
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 December 2010 – Girls and boys were thrilled with the recent inauguration of a new high school in the Afghan capital, built as part of a major project in which the government will construct over 1,000 new classrooms in 58 schools in and around Kabul. The project is supported by UNICEF and the Government of Japan.
For returned refugees in eastern Afghanistan, a community school make a difference
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 16 November, 2010 – Until a few years ago, Nadak Bilak, a small village on a dusty plateau in eastern Afghanistan, had no access to safe water and little in the way of infrastructure. Twenty-eight former refugee families who had returned from Pakistan were settled here by the government, living in nothing more than mud houses.
UNICEF supports a pitch for peace at cricket camp in war-torn Afghanistan
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 15 November 2010 – In a city where girls are rarely seen on the streets without burquas, this past 11 October marked a special day for 140 girls here, as they donned cricket whites and took to the pitch to learn the basics of batting and bowling.
Afghan Female Literacy Centres bring knowledge and new priorities to remote areas
NILI, Afghanistan, 11 October 2010 – Around 30 girls and women ranging in age between 12 and 70 sit in a small room in Nili, the capital of Afghanistan’s remote Daikundi province. Some have brought their children to the class, where they are learning to read for the first time.
Raising clean hands in Afghanistan's 'WASH' friendly schools
KABUL, Afghanistan, 16 September 2010 – Designed to increase investment in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for Afghan schools, a new Call to Action has been jointly issued by the government’s Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Ministry of Public Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Its intent is to engage policy makers at all levels, involve multiple stakeholders and monitor WASH in schools.
In remote Afghan mountains, Youth Information and Contact Centre empowers youth
DAIKUNDI PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 19 August 2010 - Kamela, 15, lives in the Shahristan district of Afghanistan’s Daikundi province – a remote mountain area of the country’s central region. In an unprecedented journey, she recently travelled eight hours on foot and by car to reach Nili, the provincial capital, to participate in an innovative training session for young people.
Unique education programmes brighten the future for Afghanistan's young women
HERAT, Afghanistan, 10 August 2010 – The city of Herat is the setting for ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ – Khaled Hosseini’s powerful, best-selling novel about the harsh conditions faced by women in Afghanistan.
UNICEF programme in Afghanistan will provide thousands of schools with safe water
MAZAR, Afghanistan, 3 August 2010 – “My parents have told me that it is important to wash my hands when I come from the toilet, but at home I first have to look for water,” said Sami, 8, a resident of the northern Afghan city of Mazar. “Every morning and evening, my two elder sisters and I go to the tap stand in front of our house to fetch water.”
Afghanistan reaffirms commitment to protecting child rights amidst conflict
KABUL, Afghanistan, 21 July 2010 – The Government of Afghanistan has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting children affected by the ongoing conflict here through the establishment of a Steering Committee that will address and respond to grave violations against children.
Bamyan maternity waiting home: A safe place to give birth in Afghanistan
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 12 July 2010 – “This place is needed in Bamyan like water in the desert,” said Dr. Hamed Nazim, head of Bamyan Provincial Hospital. “In the past, not enough care was taken of mothers. This will change now.”
Two drops for each child: Afghan polio campaign breaks with tradition to reach all
MAZAR, Afghanistan, 11 June 2010 – During a recent polio immunization campaign in north-eastern Afghanistan – organized in response to an outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Tajikistan – thousands of vaccination teams fanned out across the region in an effort to reach all children at risk.
Defying odds, a female doctor tackles maternal health in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 8 June 2010 – For Dr. Sumaira Yaftali, medicine is more than just a career. It’s the culmination of her life-long ambition.
At St. Lucia match, India and Afghanistan team up to end polio
RODNEY BAY, St. Lucia, 10 May 2010 – For the first time ever, the cricket teams of India and Afghanistan recently came together, playing a match here in St. Lucia in solidarity against the scourge of polio.
Afghanistan launches first-ever vaccination week, putting children first
KABUL, Afghanistan, 27 April 2010 – Many thousands of Afghan children can expect better health as the country launches its first-ever vaccination week.
Justice for girls in Afghanistan
MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan, 20 April 2010 – The six girls huddle together over tea, giggling and pulling at each other’s veils and talking ‘girl talk’. They’re keen to show off their English, talking about their favourite Bollywood stars and imitating their moves. But under the veils, behind the lightness, there’s tragedy here.
Afghan leaders meet to address juvenile justice
KABUL, Afghanistan, 15 April 2010 — The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Afghanistan, states that putting a child in detention should be a last resort.
Promoting girls' empowerment through sport in Afghanistan
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 8 April 2010 – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, UNICEF, the Bamyan Provincial Department of Women's Affairs and the local Youth Information and Contact Centre (YICC) joined forces to promote girls' empowerment through sport – by organizing a female football match.
Girls’ education is key to stopping forced and early marriages in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 30 March 2010 – Narwin is just 14 years old, but she is already engaged to a man that she has never set eyes on. “My parents say they do not care if I’m happy or not,” she says. “They want me married, and that’s it.”
UNICEF Regional Director highlights challenges for girls in visit to Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 23 March 2010 – UNICEF Regional Director Dan Toole has highlighted the challenges facing children and families during a six day visit to Afghanistan.
Forced and early marriages still common for girls in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 March 2010 - Narwin is just 14 years old, but she is already engaged to a man that she has never set eyes on.
Panel cites women's critical role in building sustainable peace in Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 9 March 2010 – More than eight years after the fall of the Taliban regime, the women of Afghanistan still face enormous challenges. Perhaps the most daunting of these are the continuing violence and insecurity that disproportionately impede women's access to essential rights and services for themselves and their children.
New country programme helps children achieve their rights in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 4 March 2010 – UNICEF and the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently signed the new UNICEF Country Programme Action Plan for 2010-2013. The ceremony took place on 25 February at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was attended by Mohammad A. Anwarzai, the Head of the Afghan Government's United Nations Department, and UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan Catherine Mbengue.
Immunization campaign in Afghanistan aims to eradicate polio and empower women
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 18 February 2010 – A massive polio immunization campaign in Afghanistan recently reached 2.8 million children under five years old. Over the course of three days, about 20,000 health workers travelled from house to house in 14 provinces as part of an ongoing effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan.
UNICEF-supported literacy centres empower Afghan women and girls
MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan, 2 February 2010 – Farida Dastgeer, 65, is learning how to read. She is one of 20 women and girls who gather six times a week for two hours, in the living room of one of the students, to improve their literacy.
Shelter provides hope for abused women in western Afghanistan
HERAT, Afghanistan, 11 January 2010 - Nafiza Popal, 45, manages Herat’s only women’s shelter, providing a refuge for women in distress, the vast majority of whom have fled their husbands after experiencing physical violence.
UNICEF-supported drop in centres relieve life of poverty for Afghan children
TORKHAM, Afghanistan, 30 December 2009 - An Afghani still living in the Pacha Maina refugee camp in Pakistan, Sheila, 10, crosses the border into her own country only to work.
Afghanistan is the first country worldwide to use bivalent oral polio vaccine
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 December 2009 – Sheila Noor, 18, is one of 21,000 health agents who were deployed by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health for a three-day immunization campaign using the bivalent polio vaccine this month.
European Commission, European Union and UNICEF reaffirming Afghan child rights
KABUL, Afghanistan, 8 December 2009 – Representatives for the European Commission, the European Union and UNICEF came together late last month to sign a joint Declaration that reaffirmed the importance of child rights in Afghanistan. The conference was part of the month-long worldwide celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Teshome Mandefro Egrete, 1952-2009
NEW YORK, USA, 7 December 2009 – The familiar blue flag flew at half mast in front of United Nations headquarters a few weeks ago. Its emblem of peace – a global map cradled by olive branches – flapped in a brisk autumn breeze. The flag had been lowered in memory of the five UN staff and others killed in the 28 October attack on an international guest house in Kabul.
Japan donates an additional $4.6 million to continue child immunization drive in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 November 2009 – His Excellency Shigeyuki Hiroki, Ambassador of Japan, and UNICEF Representative for Afghanistan Catherine Mbengue have signed an agreement to maintain and extend immunization programmes for children in Afghanistan.
Maternity Waiting Home programme aims to save the lives of mothers and newborns in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 23 October 2009 – Maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan are among the highest in the world. In the southern region, 1,600 women out of every 100,000 die in childbirth.
Bringing proper sanitation to rural Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 16 October 2009 – The second Global Handwashing Day was celebrated yesterday in Kabul and 34 provinces of Afghanistan, shining a spotlight on the importance of handwashing with soap and water as one of the most effective and affordable interventions to save lives.
Eradicating polio in Afghanistan takes persuasion, participation and peace
GHOR, Afghanistan, 17 September 2009 – A three-day polio eradication campaign, organized by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, reached children across Afghanistan this month. The immunization drive was part of the ongoing effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan, which is one of just four remaining polio-endemic countries.
Cricket camp promotes peace and the right to play in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 9 September 2009 – Nearly 50 young people brought together by UNICEF and the Afghan Youth Cricket Support Organization (AYCSO) participated in a cricket camp this month in Kabul, the first in a series of events to celebrate International Peace Day 2009 in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s ‘Women Courtyard’ initiative helps children’s health
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 19 August 2009 – Jalalabad city is considered as a high risk area for polio. The three risk factors that characterize the area are massive and continuous population movements from and into polio infected areas, a large presence of Afghan returnees from Pakistan and high population density.
Afghanistan reaches historic milestone for children’s rights
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 August 2009 – The Afghan Ministry of Foreign affairs launched its first report on the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by the Afghan Government in 1994.
A window of hope for girls in Jalalabad
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 11 August 2009 – In Afghanistan, more than half of the population is below the age of 18. Youth literacy rates are low. Only one out of every two boys and one in five girls between the ages 15-24 know how to read and write. Secondary school attendance rates are 18 and six per cent, respectively.
UNICEF teaches importance of exclusive breastfeeding in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 3 August 2009 – “I do not have enough milk to feed my baby,” Arzo, 20, replies when asked if she will continue to exclusively breastfeed her newborn child.
One more young life saved from polio in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 28 July 2009—“It doesn’t hurt at all,” says Mahamad, 5, smiling broadly. The boy lives in Kabul and is used to vaccinators visiting his house. This particular visit is happening on the first day of a three-day, nationwide polio vaccination campaign – the fourth of six such immunization rounds planned for this year.
Japanese Government partners with UNICEF for ‘Thousand Classroom Project’ in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 July 2009 - Sonia is one of the 2,800 students at the Soraya Girls’ High School located in the Karta-i-Char area of Kabul. Just 13 years old, she has already decided on a career.
Children carrying the burden of work in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 23 June 2009 – Child labour is an issue of growing concern in Afghanistan. The ongoing political tensions, insecurity and rising food prices have put the livelihoods of vulnerable families and children increasingly at risk.
UNICEF Regional Director assesses situation on the ground in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 27 May 2009 – UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Dan Toole concluded a four-day visit to Afghanistan last week, assessing the situation on the ground.
Beyond School Books – a podcast series on education in emergencies
NEW YORK, USA, 16 April 2009 – The UN General Assembly last month hosted a thematic debate on access to education in crisis and post-crisis situations. Experts from the development community were on hand to press for outcomes benefiting children who are suffering in emergencies that deny them their right to an education.
International Day for Mine Awareness: Clearing the legacies of war from Afghanistan's soil
NEW YORK, USA, 3 April 2009 – The world's first humanitarian mine-action program began in Afghanistan two decades ago, but the country remains dangerously contaminated.
Improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for children in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 12 March 2009 – Water is the most basic element necessary to sustain life, but less than quarter of all Afghans currently have ready access to it. Less than a third of the population is able to use adequate sanitation facilities, and even fewer have access to improved drinking-water sources.
Safe spaces for vulnerable populations in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 26 February 2009 – It is every child’s right to be protected from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. Tragically, thousands of children in Afghanistan face these injustices every day.
Improving child and maternal health amidst conflict in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 5 February 2009 – A child's first right is the right to life. But in today's Afghanistan, children face some of the most difficult challenges to their survival in the world.
Midwife training programme aims to reduce maternal mortality in Afghanistan
PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 13 January 2009 – Dr. Forough Malalai is the only female maternal health doctor in Panjshir province, a mountainous region in central Afghanistan. With vast valleys and harsh winters, many of Panjshir’s 600,000 residents live in villages that are inaccessible by road and often blocked by floods and avalanches.
UNICEF-supported ‘clean village’ creates jobs for women in Afghanistan
HERAT, Afghanistan, 7 January 2009 – Khowja Surmaq is much like any other village in Afghanistan – with muddy roads, little patches of vegetation and vast sandy terrains. However, it is unique in the fact that it is a UNICEF-supported ‘clean village’, which is equipped with safe water and sanitary latrines.
Afghanistan struggles with a food crisis in the harshest of seasons
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 9 December 2008 – For the people of Afghanistan, it’s fast becoming one crisis too many. Already wrecked by war and insurgency, they are now battling a new force – a food crisis in the harshest of seasons.
Children at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 1 December 2008 – With 504 recorded cases, Afghanistan has a relatively low number of confirmed HIV cases, but experts on the disease are raising alarm bells for an expected rise in reported numbers, especially among street children.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Frafjord Johnson visits Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 25 November 2008 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Frafjord Johnson visited Afghanistan this week where she met with various government ministers to discuss UNICEF programmes in the country.
UNICEF condemns attacks on schools in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 14 November 2008 – UNICEF has condemned the increasing number of attacks on schools and students in Afghanistan. A recent acid attack on 15 female students walking to school in the southern city of Kandahar blinded two of the girls and injured two others.
Global Handwashing Day: Children lead the way in Afghanistan, Somalia and Mozambique
NEW YORK, USA, 15 October 2008 – Millions of children in 70 countries around the world are marking the first-ever Global Handwashing Day with a simple act that will protect them from disease and save their lives.
For Peace Day, Afghan children get a chance to be immunized
NANGAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 22 September 2008 – Afghan and international forces, including the Taliban, have been asked to lay down their weapons in support of the biggest Peace Day that Afghanistan has ever experienced.
Actor Jude Law and director Jeremy Gilley in Afghanistan to promote peace
KABUL, Afghanistan, 3 September 2008 – British actor and Peace One Day envoy Jude Law and Jeremy Gilley, film director and founder of Peace One Day campaign, travelled to Afghanistan for a two-day mission this week. While there, they screened a new documentary, ‘The Day After Peace’, about the efforts of ordinary Afghans in support of peace.
Conflict threatens access to children by humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 3 July 2008 – In spite of impressive progress made in the past seven years, the security situation in Afghanistan continues to threaten the gains made by the country’s women and children.
Study recommends ways to improve juvenile justice in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 1 July 2008 – A recent report on juvenile justice in Afghanistan notes that there is a long way to go towards realizing fair and child-friendly system in the country.
Youth centres provide a wide range of services in Afghanistan
MAZAR, Afghanistan, 19 June 2008 – Afsana, age 21, is studying economics at Balk University in Mazar, Afghanistan’s fourth largest city. She is also a member of the school's Youth Information Centre (YICC), a project which has a special focus on protecting high-risk adolescents and youth from abuse and exploitation.
Japan donation supports maternal health and child survival in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 10 June 2008 – Under a new agreement signed with UNICEF, the Government of Japan will provide $4.3 million to health programmes in Afghanistan. Approximately 7.5 million children will benefit from improvements in infectious disease prevention and control as a result of the funding.
‘Young Champions’ support girls’ education in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 28 April 2008 – Faiz Mohammad Fayyaz, now in his early twenties, lost his father when he was seven years old. His mother cannot read and write, because her father did not allow her to go to school, and married her off at the age of 14. Despite all this, Faiz’s mother made sure that he and his three sisters got an education.
On International Mine Awareness Day, Afghanistan still copes with landmines
KABUL, Afghanistan, 3 April 2008 – Landmines have killed or injured more than 70,000 Afghans in the last two decades, and they continue to cause hundreds more casualties each year.
Communities 'stand up to violence' as the new school year begins
KABUL, Afghanistan, 24 March 2008 – Afganistan continues to progress in the field of education, as more than 6 million children attended the first day of school this week – including approximately 800,000 children who are now enrolled for the first time in their lives.
Afghanistan launches the International Year of Sanitation
KABUL, Afghanistan, 20 March 2008 – Afghanistan has launched the International Year of Sanitation to advance cooperation among policymakers, humanitarian partners and communities on improving sanitation and increasing access to safe water around the country.
Progress and challenges: Regional Director for South Asia Dan Toole visits Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 28 January 2008 – UNICEF’s new Regional Director for South Asia, Dan Toole, visited Afghanistan last week, during which he helped launch UNICEF’s flagship report, ‘The State of the World’s Children 2008’, in Kabul. His four-day visit coincided with the publication’s official launch in Geneva.
Child Alert Afghanistan: Martin Bell reports on children caught in war
NEW YORK, USA, 25 October 2007 – Caught in the crossfire and out of reach of humanitarian assistance, far too many children in Afghanistan are missing out on schooling and health care, even though significant progress has been made in these areas.
International Day of Peace marked with polio vaccination drive in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 20 September 2007 – Warring factions in Afghanistan have promised to honour the International Day of Peace on 21 September by supporting peace so that 1.3 million children can be vaccinated against polio.
Peace One Day ambassador Jude Law’s ‘secret’ mission to Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 18 July 2007 – Oscar-nominated actor and movie star Jude Law has completed a ‘secret’ mission to Afghanistan to film UNICEF’s preparations for marking the 2007 UN International Day of Peace.
Female teachers help to rebuild Afghanistan’s education system
KABUL, Afghanistan, 8 June 2007 – During the Taliban era in Afghanistan, many female teachers were barred from working and many girls were not allowed to go to school. But that has all changed dramatically.
UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken visits Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 18 April 2007 – UNICEF National Ambassador Clay Aiken has visited central Afghanistan to see for himself how UNICEF is trying to improve life for children in the region.
UNICEF and partners come together to help reduce maternal mortality in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 2 April 2007 – One in nine Afghan women dies during or shortly after pregnancy, accounting for one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Kabul’s Malalai Maternity Hospital, one of the busiest in Afghanistan delivering 80 to 100 babies a day, is working to ensure that more women live to see their children grow up.
Two displaced Afghan children voice hopes for the future after returning to school
NEW YORK, USA, Afghanistan, 1 March 2007 - Despite the successful efforts of UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan, some of the country’s children and young people – especially those living in camps for the displaced – still lack access to adequate education, nutrition and health care.
Community-based schools bring hope to Afghanistan’s remote settlements
NEW YORK, USA, 23 February 2007 – Hakima, 9, only recently came to know about her country and its people.
Afghanistan Representative visits schools and other UNICEF programmes
NEW YORK, USA, 16 January 2007 – In the few weeks since Catherine Mbengue became UNICEF’s Representative in Afghanistan, she has been touring the country to see what UNICEF is doing, particularly with regard to education for girls and women.
UNICEF UK Ambassador Martin Bell witnesses ‘thirst for education’ in Afghanistan
NEW YORK, USA, 13 December 2006 – UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies Martin Bell has returned from a week-long trip to Afghanistan.
UNICEF appeal cites ‘an emergency within an emergency’ in Afghanistan
New York, 8 November 2006 – UNICEF has issued an urgent appeal for help for the children of Afghanistan, who are suffering from the double tragedy of war and drought.
Immunization campaign in Afghanistan aims to reduce child and maternal deaths
NEW YORK, USA, Afghanistan, 12 September 2006 – An immunization campaign supported by UNICEF was launched recently in Afghanistan with two objectives: to reduce child measles mortality by 90 per cent and to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
On Afghanistan visit, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director stresses need for education for all
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 22 March 2006 – In the shadow of a huge sandstone arch that housed one of the famous Bamyan Buddhas in central Afghanistan prior to its destruction by the Taliban, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah today urged all Afghan families to give priority to education for the sake of long-term progress.
Child nutrition in Afghanistan: ‘My children are smaller than others’
KABUL, Afghanistan, 2 November 2005 – Rahera is seven years old and lives in the Kakoji district, about 40 km outside Kabul. She eats her breakfast of bread at around 7 a.m. every morning. One loaf must last Rahera, her parents and two little brothers for three days. There is usually no milk or sugar.
UNICEF Regional Director’s visit spotlights problems, progress for women and children
KABUL, 4 August 2005 – UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Cecilia Lotse is in Afghanistan this week. Her visit serves to draw attention to the work that still needs to be done to improve the situation of women and girls, but also to recognize the significant progress made in the last four years.
Suraya Dalil: Taking the long way home
NEW YORK, 27 June 2005 – Suraya Dalil is ready to go home. With her new master’s degree in public health from Harvard University, this mother of two is eager to return to Afghanistan to help in the reconstruction of her country.
Afghan children express their hopes and fears
BAKRAMI, Afghanistan, 5 April 2005 – When asked to express her feelings about her life and her country, nine-year-old Binafsha decided to draw a big apple.
Campaign urges Afghan families to enrol their daughters in school
KABUL, Afghanistan, 21 March 2005 - A nationwide campaign promoting the value of girls’ education has begun across Afghanistan, as many parts of the country prepare for a new school year commencing at the end of March.
Polio vaccine reaches 5 million children
KABUL, 27 February 2005 – A three-day polio immunization campaign in Afghanistan has succeeded in vaccinating an estimated 5.3 million children under the age of five.
Building up immunization one dose at a time in southern Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 22 February 2005 – Lialuma, a 26-year-old mother of six children, sits quietly holding her pale baby in her arms at the Out Patient Department Centre in Kandahar City, southern Afghanistan. “I’m afraid that he can’t be saved. I’ve already bought a piece of white cloth for his funeral. I’ve taken him to three doctors, but he is not getting better. This is the second child I’m going to lose,” says a desperate Lialuma.
Brutally cold weather and whooping cough threaten children
KABUL, Afghanistan, 15 February 2005 – An exceptionally severe winter is threatening the lives of many Afghan children, especially those in hard-to-reach areas. Heavy snows have blocked roadways, leaving children and their families stranded in the dangerous cold. An outbreak of whooping cough is compounding the threat.
Community-based schools bring hope to Afghan girls
BAGRAMI, Afghanistan, 8 February 2005 - Eight-year old Zakira is a typical girl from Hussain Khel village in Bagrami district, north of Kabul. There were no schools near her village that she or her five siblings could attend.
Afghan children present Vice President with children’s rights manifesto
KABUL, 20 November 2004 – At a ceremony here today, children presented a Manifesto outlining their hopes, aspirations and demands, to Afghanistan’s Vice President Hidayat Amin Arsala.
Report shows improvements in Afghanistan – but many children still suffer
NEW YORK, 28 September 2004 – The first comprehensive study of the situation of children and women in Afghanistan in nearly a decade has been released today. It shows that fewer infants are dying and more children are going to school. But it also shows that the majority of the country still has no access to clean water, and mortality rates remain high.
Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy reacts to the death of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aid workers.
The Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, said that she was shocked and saddened to hear of the murder of five MSF workers in Afghanistan.
Women’s health in rural Afghanistan to benefit from new contribution from Canada and Belgium
KABUL, Afghanistan, 20 May 2004—Some 85,000 women from the rural Afghan province of Bamyan will benefit from improved health care, thanks to new supplies provided by UNICEF with the support of the governments of Canada and Belgium.