Photo: UNICEF Afghanistan

UNICEF expresses deep concerns over the Taliban’s foreign NGOs schooling ban

The UN’s children charity, UNICEF, has expressed profound concerns regarding the Taliban’s ban on international organizations engaged in education projects.

UNICEF has warned that this ban could result in over 500,000 children being deprived of education in Afghanistan.

According to Reuters, UNICEF stated on Thursday that it was in contact with Taliban authorities to ascertain whether international organizations would be excluded from education projects.

“UNICEF is deeply concerned by reports that over 500,000 children, including over 300,000 girls, could lose out on quality learning through community-based education within a month if international non-governmental organizations working in the field of education are no longer allowed to operate,” UNICEF’s Afghanistan spokesperson, Samantha Mort, told Reuters.

“UNICEF urges the de facto authorities to place the best interests of the child at the heart of all decision-making and reiterates that every child has the right to learn,” Mort said.

The UN estimates that 8.7 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian aid for education this year and it was planning to reach about 3 million people under a humanitarian package for the year, which was revised this week to reflect lower funding.

Sources from UNICEF, Save the Children and ACTED confirmed to KabulNow yesterday that the Taliban had banned the educational activities of international organizations in Afghanistan.

A source within the Taliban has also confirmed the new ban and said UNICEF is exempt from the ban.

No specific reasons for the ban have been informed by the source.

An audio recording, purportedly from Taliban officials, has also surfaced, saying that NGOs have been banned from providing educational services. the NGOs have been given a one-month deadline to cease their activities.

It is not yet clear who issued the order to ban the educational activities of international organizations.

However, international organizations, including the UN, have been heavily involved in education projects, including community-based classes, often held in homes in rural areas.

Since assuming power in 2021, the Taliban has closed most secondary schools to girls, stopped female students from attending universities, and stopped women from working for aid agencies and the UN.