According to local media, a top UNICEF official said after wrapping up a tour to Afghanistan that an estimated one million children in Afghanistan will suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2021 and may die if prompt action is not taken.
According to Ariana News, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi, who visited Afghanistan this week, has warned that “at least one million Afghan children suffer acute malnutrition and even death” unless emergency aid is delivered. “Severe outbreaks of measles and acute watery diarrhea have further exacerbated the situation, putting more children at risk,” UNICEF said in a statement.
During his visit to Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Youngsters’ Hospital, Abdi met with scores of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening ailment. He emphasized the importance of children’s access to basic health care, immunization, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child protection services when meeting with senior Taliban members in Afghanistan, according to Ariana News. He called for the resumption of polio, measles, and COVID-19 vaccinations, saying that the most pressing need is to safeguard children and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Polio is still endemic in only two countries in the world: Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to UNICEF, Abdi visited with partners at a COVID-19 and polio hotline center to promote vaccination.
Abidi emphasized the necessity of all boys and girls continuing their education, saying they should “participate meaningfully in constructing their country’s future.”
“Our ambition is to see an Afghanistan where every girl and every boy are in school, have adequate health care, and are safe from all types of violence,” Abidi said, adding that UNICEF will continue to advocate for the rights of every girl, boy, and woman in Afghanistan.
Abdi was joined by UNICEF Regional Director George Laryea-Adjei and UNICEF Afghanistan Representative Herve Ludovic de Lys during his visit to Afghanistan.
Source – Business Standard / UNICEF