KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched its largest ever single-country appeal to urgently respond to the humanitarian needs of more than 24 million people in Afghanistan.
The $2 billion appeal will help avert the looming collapse of health, nutrition, education and other vital social services for children and families.
Half of the Afghan children under the age of five would be severely malnourished by 2022 due to the food crisis and the collapse of health infrastructure, warns UNICEF representative Alice Akunga.
In 2021, UNICEF recalled, more than 60,000 measles cases were reported and 10 million children might have dropped out of school.
The UN agency said the fund — the largest request it ever made — was needed to treat a million children with acute malnutrition and vaccinate 10.5 million children against measles.
In addition, the fund aims to guarantee access to education for 7.5 million school-age children.
Akunga stressed: “We have to remember our humanity and do everything we can to keep children alive, well-fed, safe and learning.”
About 4.5 million children are in need of mental health and psychosocial support. Under harsh winter conditions, families are struggling to heat their homes and keep their children warm.
“UNICEF is strongly urging donors to support Afghanistan’s children through its humanitarian appeal … we must rise to the challenge,” Akunga said.
She added: “We appeal to the international community to stand with us, shoulder to shoulder, so that the children of Afghanistan can have the life and future that is their right.”