Mohamed Ag Ayoya, the UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, said in a tweet on Friday, May 27, that violence against children must stop immediately, in addition to informing people about the upsurge in violence against children.
“In the last two days, 16 children were killed in attacks in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif and another in Uruzgan due to unexploded remnants of war,” he wrote.
The UNICEF representative offered his condolences to the families of the deceased children and said that children should not pay the price for conflicts that do not concern them. He continued to call for the protection of children.
Mohamed Ag Ayoya made the remarks following a series of explosions in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif that killed and maimed scores of children.
UNICEF has called the escalation of violence against children in schools and educational institutions in West Kabul a disaster that brazenly violates children’s rights.
Meanwhile, UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, said 1.1 million children this year are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition, also known as severe wasting, or nearly double the number in 2018 and from just under a million last year.
According to UNICEF, severe wasting is the deadliest type of malnutrition, in which food is so lacking that a child’s immune system is compromised. They become vulnerable to multiple bouts of illness and eventually become so weak that they cannot absorb nutrients.
The number of children under 5 admitted to health facilities with severe acute malnutrition has steadily increased, from 16,000 in March 2020 to 18,000 in March 2021 and then to 28,000 in March 2022 , UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan Mohamed Ag Ayoya wrote in a tweet last week.
Hit by one of its worst droughts in decades and torn apart by years of war, Afghanistan was already facing a food emergency; but the Taliban takeover in August plunged the country into crisis. Many development agencies pulled out and international sanctions cut billions of dollars from government finances, collapsing the economy.
Millions of people have been pushed into poverty, struggling to feed their families. At the end of last year, half of the population of around 38 million people lived below the poverty line, according to UN figures. As the economy continues to slump and prices rise, this could reach 97% of the population this year by mid-2022, according to the United Nations Development Programme.