close

UNICEF concerned by Taliban move to bar int'l NGOs from education sector

UNICEF said it is deeply concerned by reports of Taliban pushing out international organizations from Afghanistan's education sector

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

AP Islamabad

Listen to This Article

UNICEF said on Thursday it is deeply concerned by reports of the Taliban pushing out international organizations from Afghanistan's education sector and ordering them to hand over their activities to local nongovernmental groups.
It's the latest restriction on NGOs operating in the country after the ban imposed in December on Afghan female staff, allegedly because they weren't wearing the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, correctly and weren't complying with gender segregation in the workplace. In April, the ban was extended to the UN.
A WhatsApp voice note, purportedly from a senior education official in Kabul, says all international organisations have a one-month deadline to transfer their education work to local groups.
The Education Ministry was not immediately available to verify the voice note, but aid agency officials told The Associated Press they are aware of the message and are taking it seriously.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media.
The ban on Afghan female staff working at the UN was also relayed through a WhatsApp voice note, purportedly from a senior Taliban figure.

Also Read

UN report urges Afghanistan's Taliban to end floggings, executions

Terror strikes in Pakistan surged after Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

Taliban asks int'l community to recognise 'Islamic Emirate' of Afghanistan

No obstacles for United Nations to function in Afghanistan: Taliban

Afghan Americans protest against Taliban ban on women's education

UK to lead way on AI safety with first global summit: PM Rishi Sunak

Canada forest fires intensify, worsen air quality in Canada, United States

EU makes fresh attempt to overcome yearslong crisis over migrants

Nasa to invest $45mn in small biz to develop tech for future missions

Air India flight carrying stranded passengers from Russia lands in US

As the lead agency for education in Afghanistan, UNICEF is deeply concerned by reports that over 500,000 children, including over 300,000 girls, could lose out on quality learning through community based education within a month if international non-governmental organizations working in the field of education are no longer allowed to operate and if handovers to national NGOs are done without comprehensive assessment and capacity building, the agency said in a statement.
UNICEF is seeking to better understand the reported directive, and what it could mean for the nationwide program that provides learning opportunities for children in some of the most remote and rural areas of Afghanistan.
Around 17,000 teachers, including 5,000 women, work in UNICEF's education activities.
UNICEF is meeting the Education Ministry in Kabul for further information.
Aid sources said some provinces have ordered the immediate suspension of all foreign-led education activities after officials reportedly told Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada that foreigners are creating their own Education Ministry and not coordinating their work with the Taliban.
The latest voice note says the new measure affects all international organizations, even if they are Islamic, and that only ministry-approved Afghan NGOs that agree to ministry conditions can take on education work. The order also affects school construction.
In April, the Taliban closed education centres and institutes supported by NGOs in the country's south until further notice. The centres were mostly for girls, who are banned from going to school beyond sixth grade.
The ministry did not provide an explanation for the closures at the time. But an education department spokesman in Kandahar said the decision was made in response to complaints.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jun 8 2023 | 2:36 PM IST

Explore News