UNICEF concerned with recent Taliban attempts to stifle international education aid News
Sgt. Kimberly Lamb (U.S. Armed Forces), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
UNICEF concerned with recent Taliban attempts to stifle international education aid

The UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) acknowledged that they were investigating reports that the Taliban was refusing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aid for education in some areas in a Thursday statement to the press. A recent report from the Associated Press cites to a WhatsApp voice note from a senior Taliban education official describing how the Taliban is looking to remove aid from several international NGOs supporting trained teachers in favor of having selected individuals teach. The move could affect over half a million children’s access to education, including over 300,00 girls. 

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujardin stated these reports are unconfirmed, as they have “nothing in writing” from the Taliban, however, if they were true he feared the worst from this decision. Since their takeover of Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, the Taliban have continually denied individuals within the country their right to education. UNICEF also reported that, under the Taliban, child welfare has declined. Most notably girls have been almost outright banned from any form of education beyond the high school level. On top of this, the current crises both economic and humanitarian have led to almost 60 per cent of children no longer attending school.

UNICEF and the NGOs it promotes were one of the few ways remaining that children in Afghanistan could still receive a stable education. Despite this, there have been numerous setbacks to these NGOs so far such as the decision to ban all Afghan women from working with these groups. Along with crumbling infrastructure and a massive shortage of new teachers in the young population, education in Afghanistan is on the brink of collapse. While there have been some promising changes, such as the promise that girls would be able to return to high school in the near future, there has been little action in order to fulfill these promises.