UNICEF raises 15pc of $2b goal for Afghan children

38

United Nation s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said 15% fund of the appeal – a $2 billion goal– aimed at countering the challenges facing Afghan children in 2022, has been raised, the organization said.

UNICEF released a report providing an update on the situation of Afghan children and information on UNICEF’s responses as well as funding requirements to meet these needs.

“The UNICEF Afghanistan Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal is the largest in the history of the organization, valued at US$ 2 billion for 2022. Thanks to partners’ generous contributions, the appeal is currently 15% funded,” the report said.

The devastated economy of Afghanistan has affected the children from various sides—with many suffering from severe malnutrition and other diseases and many others engaged in child labor to provide food for their families.

TOLOnews reached out to the five orphans of one family who lost their parents over the past four years.

Samira, 13, lost her father while she was 10 and her mother died one year ago. She is living alone in a hazardous area in the capital city of Kabul.

“I am worried about the future of my sisters—what will happen to them—we don’t have money to buy them books and pens and to send them to school,” she said.

Samira is also taking care of her four siblings.

“Our room was cold. I was ill but we didn’t have money for medicine. My sister borrowed money from neighbors and bought me medicines,” said Shakilla, sister of Samira. UNICEF highlighted some numbers applying to January 1-31 2022:

“2,475,535 people were reached with basic primary health care services provided by 10,200 health workers in 1,031 health facilities across 17 provinces.

“8.6 million children under five years were reached through a four-day nationwide national polio immunization campaign launched mid-January 2022.

“281,302 children were reached with education services through 8,982 community-based education classes.

“3,240 children on the move (897 girls) received protective services through UNICEF-supported programs.

“Winterization and hygiene kits were provided to 30,355 households with vulnerable children.

“223,581 people reached with critical WASH supplies and hygiene promotion services.”

Meanwhile, analysts believe that UNICEF has been spending a large amount of money on its administrative affairs.

“The expenses of the UNICEF’s administrative affairs is a lot,” said Muzamil Shinwari, an economist.

This comes as the UN and other humanitarian organizations have repeatedly voiced concerns over the humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) is considering paying an amount of $100 per month for nearly 200,000 public school teachers, the Ministry of Education (MoE) said.

According to the MoE, more than 40,000 public school teachers have received two months’ worth of salaries provided by the UN, and the remaining teachers will be paid within the next two weeks.

The UNICEF’s plan is for a period of two months but it is expected to expand.

“Indeed, the salary of the teachers is $100 which is being paid by UNICEF. Those teachers whose salary is more than $100, the ministry will pay the rest of the money,” said Aziz Ahmad Riyan, a spokesman for the MoE.

The teachers—who were receiving low amounts of pay even during the time of former Afghan governments—said that they are suffering from a deteriorated economic condition.

Hamira, 48, who has been working as a teacher for 28 years, said that she is ill but unable to make appointments with the doctors due to economic challenges.

“I have a lot of problems. I had only my income from teaching to pay the rent and the family’s expenses. This is a residence of one of my relatives. I live in their kitchen,” she said.

When the Islamic Emirate swept into power, many government employees remained unpaid for a long time as Afghanistan faced a sudden economic meltdown after the country’s more than $9 billion central bank’s assets were frozen.

To avert a humanitarian disaster, the UN agencies sought to pay the salaries of the employees without putting funds through government departments.

“I heard about UNICEF’s initiative of providing $100 for the teachers yesterday, I welcome this initiative because the salary of the teachers is very low,” said Karima, a teacher.

“I borrowed about 150,000 Afs for family expenses. My child was injured in an accident I didn’t have money to treat him,” said a teacher who wished to go unnamed.

The US Department of Treasury earlier stated that the humanitarian organizations are allowed to give funds to prevent the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, including paying salaries of civil servants. —TOLOnews

Previous articleEach family of IDPs to get Rs 20,000: Sania
Next articleFinance Ministry plans customs tax changes