Photo: UNICEF Afghanistan

UNICEF: Japan donates $10 million to support education for children in Afghanistan

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that the government of Japan has donated US$10 million to support education for children in Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s widespread ban on girls’ education beyond sixth grade.

UNICEF said in a statement on Friday that this contribution will enable nearly 71,500 children to continue their primary education in a safe and conducive environment in the central and eastern regions. At least 16,500 children among them will have an opportunity to carry on their education for another two years at the community level.

While 60% of school-age girls remain out of any educational programs, the intervention will also target girls’ education, UNICEF added.

Moreover, the fund will improve learning environments for 55,000 children in public hub schools by constructing and rehabilitating classrooms, or building handwashing facilities and toilets, UNICEF noted further.

“Not only do we want to see every child in school, but we want to nurture and facilitate continuous learning in both formal and informal community-based settings and access to quality education,” Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, was quoted saying in the statement.

“Any learning environment needs to be safe, well-equipped with textbooks and supplies for students and teachers, and led by qualified male and female teachers.”

In the subsequent months following their takeover in August 2021, the Taliban effectively banned girls’ education beyond primary school, triggering international condemnation and outcry. Despite mounting pressures, the Taliban authorities have shown no sign of bending to reverse the ban which has barred thousands of girls from receiving an education.