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Afghan school children study at an open classroom in the outskirts of Jalalabad on January 30, 2013. Afghanistan has had only rare moments of peace over the past 30 years, its education system being undermined by the Soviet invasion of 1979, a civil war in the 1990s and five years of Taliban rule. AFP PHOTO/ Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Editorial: Children are nation’s future

Indeed, children like buds in a garden and should be carefully lovingly nurtured, as they are the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow. In Afghanistan, the gardens of the future are at stake and suffering on a daily basis from ongoing conflict. Decades of war have had a devastating impact on the children. The war has turned Afghanistan into one of the most dangerous places in the world where every single child has known only war. Girls and boys experience conflict differently and face different kinds of risks. Behind the start numbers are countless stories of the child victims of war. Many are casualties of people blatantly disregarding. More than 26,000 children have been killed or injured over the past 15 years, an average of five youngsters suffering casualties daily. Save the Children termed Afghanistan one of the most dangerous countries for children in the world.  The number of children in Afghanistan who will need humanitarian assistance in 2020 has jumped by 40 percent compared to last year. That takes the total number of children who need some kind of humanitarian support to 5.26 million. Besides war, the Afghan children are subject to labor work, force marriages, sexual violence also exposed to killing and miming, abductions and recruitment into armed groups. Unfortunately, security across the country has deteriorated, and the daily deadly risk has a deep impact on the mental health of the children, as they witness acts of extreme violence and face traumatic and life-changing injuries. The recent rocket attacks in Kabul added to those miseries, and the children are scared of explosions or other forms of extreme violence on their journeys to school. Some of them are already deprived of education, as a result a dark future awaits them. Around eight million children are not going to school due to several challenges of insecurity, conflicts and poverty. Hunger and poverty forced many of them to engage into hard work. The government, with billions of dollars in aid, has failed to provide children with a healthy life and a climate fit for their future. Children across the world are facing the same problems, and the world’s decision makers have failed to project the children. This is a wakeup call for all countries, especially, for Afghanistan to adopt all necessary measures to invest in child health, and development, ensure their rights are protected and build a future that is fit for the Afghan children. In nutshell, providing an education facility and preventing children from hard work would be the best fixation the government would ever do for them.

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