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33,000 children killed, maimed during US invasion of Afghanistan, Save the Children says

CHAMAN, PAKISTAN - AUGUST 28: An Afghan child is seen as people wait to enter Pakistan through Chaman border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan on August 28, 2021. ( Mazhar Chandio - Anadolu Agency )
An Afghan child is seen as people wait to enter Pakistan through Chaman border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan on August 28, 2021 [Mazhar Chandio - Anadolu Agency]

Almost 33,000 children have been killed and maimed in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, an average of one child every five hours, Save the Children said as the last of the international military forces pulled out of Kabul today.

The aid organisation said the numbers were a devastating insight into the deadly cost of war on children.

The real number of direct child-casualties of the conflict will likely be much higher than the estimated 32,945, and this number does not include children who have died due to hunger, poverty and disease in that time, according to Save the Children.

Even before the recent escalation in violence, nearly half of the population of Afghanistan – including nearly ten million children – were in need of humanitarian assistance with drought, a third wave of COVID-19 as well as conflict driving the country even deeper into crisis. Half of all children aged under five were expected to suffer from acute malnutrition this year.

READ: Celebratory gunfire over Kabul, as final US troops leave

"As the last military planes fly out of Kabul today it is a sad truth that, along with the planes, the international coverage, attention and support Afghanistan has received over the past few weeks are also likely to depart. But while the rest of the world moves on, millions of Afghan children will go to bed tonight hungry, grieving and unsure of what their futures hold," Asia Regional Director for Save the Children Hassan Noor said.

"What remains after 20 years is a generation of children whose entire lives have been blighted by the misery and impact of war. The magnitude of human suffering of the past two decades is beyond comprehension."

"Every single child born and raised in Afghanistan has known nothing but conflict, and lived in the certainty that explosives could go off at any moment, or bombs could fall out of the sky."

Save the Children urged the international community to continue supporting aid efforts in Afghanistan.

AfghanistanAsia & AmericasCoronavirusInternational OrganisationsNewsSave the ChildrenUS
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