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Afghan children in need of humanitarian aid up 40 percent in 2020: charity

19 Feb 2020 1TV News

The number of children in Afghanistan who will need humanitarian assistance in 2020 has jumped by 40 percent compared to last year, British charity Save the Children warned on Tuesday.

A total of 5.26 million children need some kind of humanitarian support, making Afghanistan one of the worst places in the world to be a child, the charity said in a statement.

Girls and boys experience conflict differently. Girls in conflict-affected areas are at far higher risk of sexual and other forms of gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage, the statement said.

In all verified cases of sexual violence against children in conflict, girls are the victims nine times out of 10. Boys are much more likely to be exposed to killing and maiming, abductions and recruitment into armed groups, according to the statement.

A recentanalysis by Save the Children found that two-thirds of parents surveyed in parts of Afghanistan said their children are scared of explosions, kidnappings or other forms of extreme violence on their journeys to school, revealing the extent to which children are living in constant fear for their lives and lack support to help overcome their distressing experiences, the statement said.

“Afghanistan remains largely forgotten in the shadow of other global emergencies after more than 18 years of conflict, tens of thousands of civilian deaths and multiple failed peace efforts,” said Onno van Manen, the charity’s country director in Afghanistan. “This is a country where all children who were born and raised here have known nothing but war, where they are scared to go to school and where they risk abuse and exploitation. Afghan children lack access to basic healthcare and quality education, not to mention the professional support they need to help them cope with all they have endured.”

“Save the Children is stepping up its activities throughout Afghanistan in recognition of the dire situation children are facing. They have a right to safety, security and well-being under international law, yet these fundamental rights are regularly threatened. We must give Afghan children a future free from violence and fear.”

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