Act now to protect the children of Afghanistan

As the Government of Afghanistan falls, World Vision has warned that countless more vulnerable children will pay the ultimate price as they are caught up in the maelstrom. Territories and control are changing at frightening speed, schools are closed, food is scarce and forced displacement figures are soaring. Children and families are in hiding or fleeing and their fundamental rights are being denied. 

The numbers are staggering. Almost half the population – 18.4 million people (8.2 million children) – have needed humanitarian and protection assistance in 2021, and this is growing. More than 30 per cent of the Afghani population (12.2 million) face acute food insecurity. Accelerated displacement is projected to result in 500,000 people fleeing across various provinces by the end of the year. The pandemic continues to worsen, and preventative measures are lacking. In a country with a population of close to 40 million, so far only 139,051 COVID-19 cases and 6098 deaths were reported since February 2020. 

National Director Asuntha Charles said people were extremely scared and vulnerable. “Children are at greater risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Families who are already struggling to survive destitution because of this conflict, are also experiencing a devastating drought and the effects of COVID-19. They are now resorting to desperate measures to protect their children” she said. “History has shown that the resilience and fortitude of the Afghan people is extraordinary. But it has its limits. They are now at their most vulnerable and we cannot abandon them.”


World Vision calls for all parties to the conflict to put vulnerable children first. International humanitarian law must be respected and the lives of Afghan children, their families, and communities prioritised. The international community must maintain its presence on the ground to prevent an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Further commitment must be made to increased and sustained funding supports, diplomatic engagement, international responsibility for lasting solutions and the protection of child rights. 

“Children are the single greatest asset to any sustainable, durable solution to multiple crises. For their sake, all sides must put the humanitarian needs of their people first and end this conflict. Together with our 300+ Afghan staff, World Vision will stay and deliver.” Ms. Charles said.

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