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UNICEF Flags Afghanistan As Weapons-Contaminated Nation

Unexploded mines in Afghanistan, which has been the theatre of several conflicts down the decades, continue to claim lives in the country….reports Asian Lite News

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Afghanistan said 85 per cent of the victims of explosions and unexploded mines in Afghanistan are children, making it one of the most weapons-contaminated countries in the world, reported TOLO News.

Taking on social media platform ‘X’, the UNICEF said, “Afghanistan is one of the most weapons-contaminated countries in the world, and children represent about 85% of casualties. With EU in Afghanistan, UNICEF teaches children to recognize and avoid unexploded ordnance, using practice settings like this at a child-friendly space.”

Unexploded mines in Afghanistan, which has been the theatre of several conflicts down the decades, continue to claim lives in the country, according to TOLO News.

Amanullah, who lost some of his body parts in an explosion, said, “We climbed a mountain to bring weeds, and we found the bomb and brought it down to sell it, the seller said I don’t want to buy it. As soon as we were entering the house it exploded.”

Moreover, Akhtar Mohammad, a relative of mine victim’s family said, “We referred to them so that they clean up the area from mines, but they told us that currently there are a lot of mines in the land, and we cannot reach the mines in the mountains. Because of that, we have prevented the kids from going to the mountain.”

The Afghan Directorate for Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) said that as much as 65 per cent of victims of explosions and unexploded ordnance are children.

Noorddin Rustam Khil, head of DMAC said, “UNICEF, which shared the report with the media and has indicated the children who are victims of the mines 85 per cent, we reject that report. Based on our information, children’s victims are 65 per cent.”

Earlier, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) stated that over 700 children in Afghanistan were killed or injured last year due to the explosion of land mines, explosives, and improvised explosive devices. (ANI)

‘Over 6M Internally Displaced People in Afghanistan’

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in a report said that Afghanistan currently has a staggering 6.55 million Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs), making it the second country having the largest number of people displaced people after Syria, reported TOLO News.

Over 4.39 million people are internally displaced owing to the conflicts and violence as of December 31, 2022, whereas, 2.16 million people are displaced due to disasters in the country. 

Moreover, the report issued a warning on the potential rise of global displacement over the next 30 years, according to TOLO News.

Malik Khan, who moved to Kabul from Laghman province a few years ago due to conflict and instability said, “Our main issue is that there is no assistance for internally displaced people, and in the last two years, the only assistance we have received has been 50 kg of oil and 5 kg of peas.”

However, some other displaced people urged the Taliban and aid organizations to help them, reported TOLO News.

Another displaced person, Maryam, said, “We ask the Islamic Emirate to give us shelter and help us. We accept it if it gives us the same place and we don’t have a clinic.”

“We came here to do something and provide shelter to our children. We have a water problem, we have an electricity problem, and our children do not attend school. We moved here from Mazar, where there was no job,” said Hayatullah, displaced from Balkh province.

Additionally, Afghan people have been leaving their homes because of poverty, insecurity and conflicts in the country, TOLO News reported. 

Furthermore, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) earlier reported a surge in the number of internally displaced people in Afghanistan.

This organization has estimated that the country’s internally displaced population is nearly six million people. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Afghanistan’s Hindu, Sikh Minorities Grapple With Taliban Curbs

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