Afghanistan: Education Crisis – Press Conference Education Cannot Wait (27 October 2021)

Subscribe to The Global Herald in Google News

United Nations published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan: Education Crisis – Press Conference Education Cannot Wait (27 October 2021)” – below is their description.

At the end of an all-female mission to Afghanistan, the Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, said a “minimum of one billion USD” must be invested into the country’s education sector and stressed that 20 years of development gains could be lost if immediate action is not taken.

Speaking from Islamabad airport to reporters in New York today (27 Oct), Sherif said Afghanistan is on the brink of collapse, with over 50 percent of the population no knowing where to get their next meal. She said, with the arrival of winter and the economic meltdown, prolonged drought, COVID-19, and extreme poverty, starvation is a very real threat.

The Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Director said civil servants, particularly teachers, have not been paid their salaries, and the highest price is being paid by the girls and boys of Afghanistan.

Sherif said, prior to mid-August, the country was already in crisis, and ECW, together with its partners, was able to invest 45 million USD in community based education and accelerated learning through joint work and programming. This allowed them to reach 58 percent of girls since 2019. She said these are children living in the hardest to reach areas, noting that 75 percent of Afghans live in rural areas.

She said, “What we realized from this mission – this is not enough. We need at least one billion USD – a minimum of one billion USD to be invested into the education sector to ensure that all girls and boys can attend quality education in a continuous [way] from primary through secondary school in Afghanistan. And we have to work collectively. On the ground, we see UN agencies, civil society organizations, coming together through real team spirit and joint programming.”

Sherif said, “In our discussions with the de-facto authorities, they said – they told us that they remain committed to open up secondary education for girls. This is what they told us. We have also seen from our colleagues on the ground in the UN and civil society that access has improved across the country significantly, which opens up the operational space. So, what is important is to depoliticize this and base our work on the humanitarian imperative.”

Sherif said, “When you do development in a crisis context, whether it is Afghanistan or any other crisis context – as the United Nations is so very good at doing and has been doing for so many decades – you do not need to put the funding, the financing into a government that you may not have recognized or is not exercising democratic governance. We have the direct execution modality. If money can be unfrozen and channeled into the UN agencies and the civil society organizations, then basic services can resume and be delivered right now.”

The ECW Director said agencies are already working together, but what is missing is funding. She said, “This is the humanitarian development nexus in reality. 4.2 million Afghan children, girls and boys, are out of school; 10 million girls have yet to return to school; teachers need salaries, we need rehabilitation; we need to reach the countryside; we need water and sanitation; we need to scale-up now. Their education cannot wait. Action cannot wait across all sectors. Financing and funding cannot wait. And our own humanity cannot wait.”

Sherif said the billion USD appeal is an estimate of the education needs in Afghanistan over at least the next three years. She said this was a very modest estimation given how broken the education system currently is in a country that has face 40 years of conflict and poverty.

She said, “The main priority right now is to delivery salaries to teachers and school administration. And as I mentioned, UNICEF has the capacity and the modalities in place to do so immediately should the financing be forthcoming. So, that is a top priority because without teachers we have no schools.”

Sherif noted that the de-facto authorities laid no claim on the funding and told the mission that if the UN agencies and NGOs are able to get funding and deliver teacher salaries, they do not object to that.

In response to questions, the ECW Director noted that the mission was “cautiously optimistic” after leaving Afghanistan. She said, “As United Nations we have to be optimistic because if we lose hope, imagine the girl sitting somewhere in a mountainous area or northern Afghanistan – what they will do if we lose hope. We cannot afford not to be optimistic, cautiously. We have a huge UN presence on the ground. We have staff in the UN, in the NGO community that worked for decades in Afghanistan. They know how to negotiate access. They know to maneuver the situation, and we rely on them to continue the work they are doing right now open gradually girls’ secondary schools.”

United Nations YouTube Channel

Got a comment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note comments are moderated before publication.


Subscribe to The Global Herald in Google News

About This Source - United Nations

The United Nations (UN) was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

The UN’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, who began his five year-term on 1 January 2017.

 

Recent from United Nations:

  • COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Middle East & other topics – Daily Press Briefing (29 November 2021)
  • Ireland on Lebanon, DPRK and Iran – Security Council Stakeout (29 November 2021)
  • “Plight of women, children and men in Libya requires greater action” – ICC Prosecutor
  • In This Story: Afghanistan

    Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.

    Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.

    3 Recent Items: Afghanistan

  • Afghans continue to feel traumatic legacy of US withdrawal three months on
  • On the frontline of Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis
  • Who is the BBL bowler that’s hardest to get away? | BKT Big Bash Preview
  • In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

    Latest News about Covid-19

    Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

    5 Recent Items: COVID-19

  • Boris Johnson says people shouldn’t cancel Christmas parties over Omicron
  • LIVE: Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testify before Congress — 11/30/21
  • Boris Johnson accused of ‘scaremongering propaganda campaign’ with new Covid measures
  • Global markets hit by omicron fears; Fed Chair Powell warns omicron could slow economic recovery
  • Omicron variant: ‘No evidence’ Government action will work says expert
  • Leave a Comment

    We don't require your email address, or your name, for anyone to leave a comment. If you do add an email address, you may be notified if there are replies to your comment - we won't use it for any other purpose. Please make respectful comments, which add value, and avoid personal attacks on others. Links are not allowed in comments - 99% of spam comments, attempt to post links. Please verbalise where people may find additional information - for example "visit the UN website" or "search Google for..." rather than posting a link. Comments failing to adhere to these guidelines will not be published.

    Posting....