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550 children killed this year in Afghanistan, 10 million need aid says UNICEF

Children are paying the price of the Afghan war (Photo: IANS)

A humanitarian crisis continues to rumble, with the UNICEF reporting that nearly 10 million children in Afghanistan are "in desperate need of humanitarian aid". UNICEF Afghanistan Representative, Herve Ludovic De Lys, said that the Afghan children "are paying the highest price—including the children killed and injured in a series of atrocities in Kabul since last Thursday."

He was speaking at the daily press briefing held by the Secretary-General's office. Highlighting the problems being faced by the children, he said that against a backdrop of conflict and insecurity, children are living in communities that are running out of water because of drought.

"Again, today, I heard of more unsettling reports – of unaccompanied children across the country…more reports of grave violations, including children being recruited by armed groups…All this in a year in which more than 550 children have been killed, and more than 1,400 injured."

"They're missing life-saving vaccines, including against polio, a disease that can paralyze children for life. Many are so malnourished they lie in hospital beds too weak to grasp an outstretched finger," he said.

"These children are deprived of their right to a healthy and protected childhood", he added.

The UN spokesperson said that it is for these deprived children that the UNICEF is staying in Afghanistan despite the current turmoil. The humanitarian organisation has been working in the war-torn country for the last 65 years.