UNICEF in talks with the Taliban to handover education projects following ban

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is reportedly in talks with the Taliban about handing over its education project to the group.

UNICEF’s Afghanistan spokesperson, Samantha Mort, told Reuters that the organization is “engaged in constructive discussions with the de facto Ministry of Education” and that the Taliban has committed to keeping all classes running while the talks continue.

Mort stressed that it is important to minimize disruption to children’s learning, and that any handover of education projects to national organizations must be strategic and include comprehensive assessment and capacity building.

International organizations, including the UN, have been heavily involved in education projects in Afghanistan, particularly after the Taliban banned girls from attending school.

Earlier this month, sources from UNICEF, Save the Children, and ACTED confirmed to KabulNow that the Taliban had banned the educational activities of international organizations in Afghanistan.

A source within the Taliban also confirmed the new restriction, but said that UNICEF is exempt from the ban.

UNICEF has expressed deep concerns about the ban, warning that it could deny over 500,000 children, including more than 300,000 girls, access to education in the country.