UNITED NATION : An average of 9 students/children have been killed or maimed every day in Afghanistan this year, says a recent report from the UN Children's Fund, Unicef, which describes the country as the ''world's most lethal warzone''.

''EVEN by Afghanistan's grim standards, 2019 has been particularly deadly for the children,'' says Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore. ''Children, their families and communities suffer the horrifying consequences of conflict each and every day.''

In a statement released with the report, Ms. Fore notes that despite these difficuly conditions, Afghan children are desperate to grow up, go to school, learn skills and build a future for themselves.

''We can, and must, do as much more to reinforce their extraordinary courage and resilience,'' she adds.

The report entitled ''Preserving Hope in Afghanistan'' : Protecting children in the world's most lethal conflict,'' blames all aprties in Afghanistan for dragging the war for some 40 years and for failing in their in duty to shield the students / children from its consequences.

''The dire predicament of the country is as currently the world's worst killing field, is an acknowledgement of the nearly 6.500 child fatalities and almost 1,500 others injured between 2009 - 2018,'' the report adds.

The report shows that the rate of child casualties in Afghanistan has increased by some 11 percent since 2018, which the study puts down to factors such as a surge in suicide bomb attacks and ground engagements between pro and anti-government forces.

In the statement, Unicef reminds all parties in the conflict to fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, which requires them to protect children/students, end the targeting of schools and health centres and allow allow access to humanitarian assistance.

The World Students Society thanks author Anwar Iqball/ Dawn.


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