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Last Updated: Monday November 22 2010 15:47 GMT

Afghanistan capital Kabul is 'safer than London'

Children collect rubbish in Kabul

Children are probably safer in the Afghan capital Kabul than London or Glasgow, an official at international organisation Nato has told Newsround.

Sonali met Afghan kids who are afraid of the bombs in their country, and put their fears to Mark Sedwill from Nato.

He said: "There are very few of those bombs... Children are probably safer here than they would be in London, New York or Glasgow or many other cities."

But others disagree, saying Afghanistan is the worst place a child can be born.

Sonali in Afghanistan

Growing up in a war zone: Trailer

Justin Forsyth, a spokeswoman for the international Save the Children charity, said one in four children who live in Afghanistan will not reach their fifth birthday.


Mark Sedwill's comments were made during an interview with Sonali in Kabul, for a two-part Newsround Special on Afghanistan.

Lots of news organisations have been talking about what he said, but he said it's taken the focus away from the important point he was trying to make.

He said: "In cities like Kabul, where security has improved, the total levels of violence are comparable to those which many western children would experience.

"For most Afghans, the biggest challenges are from poverty - the absence of clean water, open sewers, malnutrition, disease - and many more children are at risk from those problems than from the insurgency."

Programme 1 - Growing Up In A War Zone: A Newsround Special will broadcast on CBBC on Monday 22nd November at 18.15. Repeated on BBC One Thursday 25th November at 17.00.

Programme 2 - The Children Of Kabul : A Newsround Special will broadcast on CBBC on Monday 29th November at 18.15. Repeated on BBC One Thursday 2nd December at 17.00.