World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Continuing threats to Afghan women and children

UNICEF official warns of continuing threats to Afghan women and children

With Afghanistan’s new school year officially beginning tomorrow, a senior United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official has warned of a continued threat facing Afghan women and children from high rates of child and maternal mortality, low levels of school enrolment and neglect of children’s fundamental rights.

“With more children in school than ever before in Afghanistan, school gates across Afghanistan will open again tomorrow for a new academic year – but at least one in two girls who should be in classes will remain at home,” UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah said.

“One in five children in this country do not survive long enough even to reach school age. Others will drop out of school, to support their families. This is a tragedy that threatens progress made in recent years,” she added on the third day of a weeklong visit to a country where 600 children under the age of five and 50 women die every day, due to preventable illnesses and obstetric complications respectively.

Ms. Salah called on the international community to increase support to development programmes for women and children. “Unless the world makes tangible commitments to the Government and people of Afghanistan, increasing investment in core services such as health, education and protection of children, development will continue to be constrained,” she said.

She also noted that the recent spate of incidents against schools in some areas was undermining the cause of development. “Attacks against education are attacks against the most basic rights of all Afghan people,” she said.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Chemical Weapons Attack (and Response) In Syria

The past week’s headlines about the chemical attacks in Syria – and the military response by the US, France and Britain – have tended to overshadow a few of the downstream outcomes. More>>


Pacific Moves: China, Vanuatu And Australia

Washington’s vigilant deputy, doing rounds on the beat in the Pacific, has been irate of late. The central issue here is the continuing poking around of China in an area that would have been colloquially termed in the past “Australia’s neighbourhood”. More>>


Diplomatic Madness: The Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

How gloriously brave it seemed, some 23 nations coming together like a zombie collective to initiate a fairly ineffectual action in of itself: the expulsion of Russian diplomats or, as they preferred to term it, intelligence operatives. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More


Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC