KABUL, 14 September—Save the Children restarted its life-saving services in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar today. The agency said it had carried out thorough security checks to ensure that both male and female staff would safely be able to return to work delivering essential health and nutrition services for children.
The recent escalation in violence in Afghanistan forced Save the Children to suspend its programmes in the country in mid-August.
Years of conflict, natural disasters and the fallout of COVID-19 have pushed Afghanistan to the brink of disaster. Even before the recent escalation in violence, 5.5 million children were projected to face crisis levels of hunger this year, and half of all children aged under five were expected to suffer from acute malnutrition. This number is now expected rise due to the combined effects of drought, COVID-19 and recent disruptions to aid efforts.
Chris Nyamandi, Country Director of Afghanistan for Save the Children, said:
“With millions of Afghans on the brink of starvation, services like ours can mean the difference between life of death for many children. It is reassuring that we can get back to work providing children and their families in Kandahar with our life-saving health and nutrition services, and we hope to resume operations in other parts of the country as soon as we can.
*“The need cannot be overstated. As we speak, thousands of displaced families are sleeping outside in the open without food or medical care. Families are selling what little they have to buy scraps of food for their children. With the bitter winter just around the corner, millions of children could succumb to malnutrition and disease in the coming months. It’s essential that we reach them as soon as possible.”*
Save the Children’s mobile health team in Kandahar provides essential health and nutrition services for children and their families in rural areas, including treatment for malnutrition and vital immunisation services to protect children from infection and disease. Since the start of the year, Save the Children has reached more than 146,000 people in Kandahar, including more than 35,600 children, with its life-saving services.
Save the Children is an independent, impartial, and politically neutral organisation that has worked in Afghanistan since 1976, providing health, education, child protection, nutrition, and livelihoods services. The organisation reached over 1.6 million Afghans in 2020.
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