By: Monitoring Desk
On March 8, Afghanistan became the first country in Central Asia to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility, with UNICEF coordinating procurement and supply. The first shipment of 468,000 doses was prioritized for teachers and university professors, an indication of just how vital the nation’s educators are to the embattled nation’s future.
Teachers were among the first to be vaccinated when Afghanistan received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses through COVAX.
“This is great news for us, because we feel safe against the virus,” said Gul Chaman Sadat Mousavi, a teacher at Dasht Girls’ High School in Daikundi Province, after she received her vaccination. “Schools are about to start and the children can come to classes safely and study. Today, I feel happy, comfortable and at peace.”
This student was injured after three terrorist bombs exploded near the Sayed Ul-Shuhada High School in west Kabul on May 8, 2021.
This student was injured after three terrorist bombs exploded near the Sayed Ul-Shuhada High School in west Kabul on May 8, 2021. © UNICEF/UN0464835/UNICEF Afghanistan
“My back, neck, and shoulder, as well as my left knee, are all injured,” the student pictured above said 10 days after the bombing (her name has been omitted to protect her privacy).” One of my ears has gone deaf since the explosion. I cannot sleep and I stay awake until midnight before I fall asleep. And even though my mother reads the holy Quran for me every night, I keep having nightmares. When I close my eyes, I see dead bodies and I feel as if I’m falling from a great height.”
UNICEF is working to ensure that children in Afghanistan receive a quality education and the opportunity to reach their full potential
To ensure that Afghanistan’s children — including girls — receive a quality education despite the threats to their health and safety, UNICEF works with partners to protect students and support the nation’s fragile school system.
UNICEF remains at the forefront of the humanitarian response in Afghanistan, and will continue to reach vulnerable children and families affected by multiple shocks with urgent, lifesaving services. In 2021, those plans include connecting 600,000 children with formal and nonformal educational services, implementing safety protocols to prevent and control the spread of infection in 1,250 schools and providing training for 60,000 adults and adolescent boys and girls on gender roles, nondiscriminatory practices and positive social norms. To achieve 2021 program goals in Afghanistan, UNICEF requires US $143.6 million.