Photo: UNICEF Afghanistan

Japan donates $25 million for children’s education in Afghanistan

Japan has contributed US$25 million to support children’s education in Afghanistan amid a staggering education sector at risk of collapse.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced on Tuesday that the substantial funding will be used to construct and rehabilitate 165 primary schools across the country, including setting up classrooms, toilets, and handwashing facilities.

UNICEF said that Japan has partnered with the agency to reach an estimated 33,000 children with a safe space to learn.

“Every child has the right to go to school and learn in secure environments. Japan supports Afghan boys and girls to learn and grow at schools through construction and rehabilitation of classrooms and water and sanitation facilities,” said H.E. Takashi Okada, Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan.

According to the UN agency, at least half of all public schools in Afghanistan do not have adequate classrooms, and 58% lack drinking water and handwashing stations.

It added that there is just one functioning toilet for 249 students on average, adding that only 47% of schools have boundary walls.

Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, said, “When classrooms are child-friendly and safe, children are motivated to learn, and school enrolment, attendance, and completion rates go up.”

Equiza emphasized that the recent funding from Japan is particularly significant at this time when children are grappling with manifold challenges in their pursuit of receiving an education in Afghanistan

In July, Japan also donated US$10 million to support education for children in Afghanistan to continue their primary education in a safe environment in the central and eastern regions.

Soon after overtaking power two years ago, 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 million of girls from receiving an education.