9 children killed or maimed daily in Afghanistan, UNICEF report says

KABUL (TCA) — A new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, has revealed that an average of nine children were killed or maimed every day in Afghanistan in the first nine months of 2019, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

In the first three quarters of 2019, 631 children were killed, and another 1,830 were injured in the conflict in Afghanistan, the report said.

Titled “Preserving Hope in Afghanistan: Protecting children in the world’s most lethal conflict,” the study says that this marks an 11 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018.

The report says that this is largely due to a surge in suicide bomb attacks and ground engagements between pro- and anti-government forces.

“Even by Afghanistan’s grim standards, 2019 has been particularly deadly for children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, quoted in a statement by the organization. “Children, their families, and communities suffer the horrific consequences of conflict each and every day. Those same children are desperate to grow up, go to school, learn skills, and build a future for themselves. We can, and must, do so much more to reinforce their extraordinary courage and resilience.”

Between 2009 and 2018, nearly 6,500 children were killed and almost 15,000 others injured in Afghanistan, the report says.

Besides the direct impact of violence, children’s lives are also being blighted by the combined effects of natural disasters, poverty, and under-development, according to UNICEF.

“Young Afghans need to know that their career prospects extend beyond joining an armed group, or escaping the country to try their luck abroad,” said UNICEF Afghanistan Representative Aboubacar Kampo. “With the right support, they can begin to break free of the cycle of violence and underdevelopment and create a better future for themselves and Afghanistan.”

The UN organization in a statement on December 17 called on parties to the conflict to fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, which require them to protect children, end the targeting of schools and health centers and allow access to humanitarian assistance.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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