Stating that children are the worst sufferers in any war or insurgencies, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who has recently been appointed as UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate, called for prompt and sustainable efforts for the protection of Afghan children.
“If people or nations think that it is the matter of Afghan children, and we are not going to bring peace and sustainability in that part of the world. Therefore, we have to consider that Afghan children, our children, and collective prompt and sustainable efforts should be made to ensure education, health care and protection of children,” Satyarthi said.
He further said that it is not possible for the welfare of children without engaging with whosoever is ruling Afghanistan and a strong message should go to them.
Afghanistan plunged into crisis after Kabul fell to the Taliban last month and the Afghan government collapsed.
The United Nations Child Fund (UNICEF) said that ten million Afghan children need immediate help as they lack access to sufficient food, medicine and drinking water.
UNICEF said if the current situation continues, one million children under five in Afghanistan will suffer from severe acute malnutrition, reported Tolo News.
A number of doctors say that cases of malnourished children have increased in the past month.
Speaking further on Afghan children, Satyarthi said: “We have to consider that Afghan children, our children, and collective prompt and sustainable efforts should be made to ensure education, health care, and protection of children. Not only the boys but also the girls. And that is not possible without engaging the ruling party, so whosoever is ruling the country, whoever’s ruling Afghanistan, they should be taken in confidence, or at least, a strong message should go to them, that we all care for your children. And they are not just your children they are our children.”
After being appointed as UN SDG advocate, Satyarthi asserted that if the world is not able to protect and educate children, then we cannot attain any of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“It is unfortunate that the most marginalised children and the resource have not been put in the priority the global political and social and economic agenda. And therefore, it is necessary that the international community must understand now that if we are not able to protect, educate our children, then we cannot attain any of the Sustainable Development Goals. So this is my mission, not only in this general assembly but also in the future, that children must be given priority. And that means in the budget allocations, policies, and social protection programs, children must get their fair share,” he added.
Satyarthi advocated for solutions in terms of the “global social protection fund” especially for marginalised children in low-income countries.
“We are calling for a global social Protection Fund, which prioritises the marginalised children of these developing countries, low-income countries. So that would be on the agenda and that is very much feasible because it requires only USD 52 billion and that is not a big deal. USD 52 billion are equivalent to two days of expenditure or two days of budget, which was put by the rich countries as the COVID recovery activity last year. So that is not a big deal. It’s a matter of prioritising the resources and so, we are demanding,” the Nobel laureate said.