BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: World: South Asia  
News Front Page
World
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent
-------------
Letter From America
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
UN plea to aid Afghan children
Afghan children hide as US soldier hunts for al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan
Years of conflict have affected young Afghans
Afghanistan must prioritise the health, safety and education of its children as it struggles to rebuild its infrastructure after more than 20 years of conflict, a United Nations official has warned.

Young girl selling bread on Kabul streets
Many children are forced to work to obtain food for their families
UN Special Envoy for Children in Conflict Olara Otunnu, who has been visiting Afghanistan, said that the country's ill-equipped schools, lack of food and poverty meant a dismal existence for many young Afghans.

He said one in four Afghan children die before they reach the age of five, and half of all young children suffer from chronic malnutrition due to an inadequate diet of black tea and bread, which some children are forced to exist on for weeks at a time.

Such inadequate nutrition can lead to medical problems and deformations in later life.

"It leads also to a large number of kids being on the streets working because they have to earn bread for their family," he told the Associated Press news agency.

Commitment needed

Mr Otunnu also condemned conditions at refugee camps he visited near the southern Afghan town of Spin Boldak as "absolutely deplorable".

Around two million Afghan children are thought to be refugees.

"[My visit] confirmed just how extensively damaging the two decades of war have been for the children and youth of Afghanistan," he said.

"All displaced people long to return home but, for children, transitions can be difficult."

Mr Otunnu praised the commitment of international aid charities in the country but said that only long-term funding and firm commitment from the international community would provide solutions.


Rebuilding

Political uncertainty

Profiles

Issues

FACT FILE

IN DEPTH

FORUM

TALKING POINT
See also:

11 Jul 02 | South Asia
04 Jul 02 | South Asia
23 Mar 02 | South Asia
16 Mar 02 | Americas
06 Feb 02 | South Asia
06 Feb 02 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes