Save The Children has warned that almost 10 million children need life-saving assistance in Afghanistan, where conflict is causing hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes every year.
Over 18 million people in Afghanistan, including 9.7 million children, desperately need life-saving support, according to Save the Children. The organization on Tuesday called in a statement for urgent increases in humanitarian funding for Afghanistan and noted that about 2,000 children had been killed or injured over the last nine months.
The statement quoted Save the Children's Country Director in Afghanistan Chris Nyamandi as saying that: "Millions of people are suffering every day because of poverty and conflict. It's especially hard on children, many of whom have known nothing but violence."
6,000 killed or injured between January and September 2020
The organization noted that, according to the latest UN figures, "nearly 6,000 people, a third of them children, were killed or injured between January and September last year."
"Conflict continues to cause extreme physical and psychological harm, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes every year. The fighting will continue to fuel humanitarian needs this year. This will threaten people's wellbeing and limit access to essential services like hospitals and clinics as well as humanitarian support," it added.
"The schools are now closed because of harsh winter conditions and COVID-19 restrictions and they won't reopen until March. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis," Nyamandi said.
Children suffering in Afghanistan
Nyamandi noted that the plight of the Afghan people is threatened by inadequate humanitarian funding pledged by wealthy nations at a Geneva based conference last November.
Ten-year-old Brishna (a pseudonym) is from Nangarhar province. She told Save the Children, "We fled to Rodat district, Nangarhar province, because of intense conflict. Life is difficult. My father, who is responsible for bringing us food, is sick. My brother and I are collecting garbage for the fire to cook. It has been a long time since we had proper food and clothes. My siblings and I always wish to have three meals in a day with some fruits, and a better life. But, sometimes, we sleep with empty stomachs. During the winter we don't have blankets and heating stuff to warm our house."
Save the Children has asked for at least another 3 billion dollars in humanitarian aid for the Afghan population in 2021.