Afghanistan: War Violence Prevents Children From Getting Education & Healthcare

In Afghanistan, children are struggling to acquire education and healthcare. The ongoing war violence in the country is the main culprit for this serious problem.

The report was produced by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, and UNICEF. According to the report, "conflict-related violence, threats and intimidation by all parties to the conflict harmed health and education personnel, reduced the availability of healthcare, and limited children's access to essential health and education services."

The war violence in Afghanistan prompted the partial or full closure of more than 369 schools last year. More than 139,000 students and 600 teachers were affected due to the shutdown.

Cost of War

In 2015, acts of threats and intimidation surged up to 182 percent, and included "death threats; assaults of health and education personnel; forced closures of schools; letters prohibiting school attendance, particularly against girls; extortion and other harmful acts," UN's report listed. Improvised explosives were also detonated near schools and clinics, resulting to the deaths and injuries of healthcare and education staff.

According to the report, 125 incidents in the country have affected healthcare access, a stark contrast to the 59 counts recorded in 2014. Conflict-related incidents also reached up to 132, which either killed, injured, or abducted education personnel.

Akhil Iyer, UNICEF's representative in Afghanistan, said that aside from war violence, children suffer from widespread chronic poverty. The report also emphasized girls' predicaments such as education restriction through threats and explicit prohibitions.

"Conflict-related violence not only puts Afghan children at risk of harm, but also limits their fundamental rights to education and healthcare," said UNAMA Human Rights Director Danielle Bell, as quoted on UN's website. "Efforts must be redoubled to enable children -- particularly girls -- free and safe access to medical services and education."

Rising War Violence

The conflict in Afghanistan initially started when the Taliban hid Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Since then, the war killed more than 3,500 coalition service members and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians, CNN wrote.

Despite reconstruction efforts by the U.S., Afghanistan is facing other issues such as weak security, dangerous roads, corruption acts, money laundering, and the drug trade, a separate report from CNN listed.

The UN's report included the mounting worry over airstrikes by the Afghan government and the NATO coalition headed by the U.S. Many civilian casualties are expected due to these airstrikes. In the first three months of 2016, more than 81,000 people across 23 provinces were forced to flee from their homes to escape the war violence.

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