January 17, 2022, Monday

Afghanistan recorded highest number of child casualties since 2005: UNICEF

NEW YORK: Afghanistan has the highest number of verified child casualties since 2005, said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), stressing children are dying and suffering because of the “callousness” and every effort should be made to keep these children safe from harm.

“Afghanistan, for example, has the highest number of verified child casualties since 2005, at more than 28,500 – accounting for 27 per cent of all verified child casualties globally,” UNICEF said in a statement on Friday (local time).

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Meanwhile, the Middle East and North Africa region has the highest number of verified attacks on schools and hospitals since 2005, with 22 such attacks verified in the first six months of this year, the statement added.

“Year after year, parties to the conflict continue to demonstrate a dreadful disregard for the rights and wellbeing of children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Children are suffering, and children are dying because of this callousness. Every effort should be made to keep these children safe from harm,” added Fore.

UNICEF also said that while, the data for 2021 is not yet available, in 2020, 26,425 grave violations against children were verified by the UN.

“The first three months of 2021 saw a slight decrease in the overall number of verified grave violations, however, verified cases of abduction and sexual violence continued to rise at alarming rates – by more than 50 and 10 per cent, respectively – compared with the first quarter of the previous year,” UNICEF said.