Archive for UNICEF

The Most Dangerous Place to be Born

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by stevemccurry

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  Afghanistan is the worst place to be a child.
-UNICEF

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As politicians, pundits, and diplomats endlessly debate the future of the world’s involvement in Afghanistan, it seems wise to reflect on the  innocents of Afghanistan over the decades of invasions, insurgencies, civil wars, and abject poverty. 

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 “Afghanistan today is without doubt the most dangerous place on earth to be born.”
– Daniel Toole, UNICEF, Regional Director for South Asia

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 The burden of wars, poverty, instability, and insurgencies has always been borne disproportionately by children.  They are killed and maimed by landmines and other explosives.   Schools are being destroyed by the Taliban, and girls who seek an education are often threatened and attacked.   Children are recruited by the Taliban to be suicide bombers and smugglers.

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 No one growing up in Afghanistan has ever known what it is like to live in a country at peace.

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These pictures are hard to look at, but much harder for the parents
to look at their children who are severely injured physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

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 A UNICEF-supported study found that the majority of children under 16 years in Kabul suffer from psychological trauma. 

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During the ten years the Soviets were in Afghanistan, they killed one million Afghans.  Five million became refugees.

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UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, says that Afghanistan is the worst place in the world to be a child. One in five children do not live past the age of five.  Most of those deaths are caused by curable childhood diseases and malnutrition, compounded by the security situation, which means that parents are unable to access proper health care.

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It is estimated that at least 30% of children from five to fourteen work to help their families survive.  Many weave rugs and work at factories making bricks.

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00299_01, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002, AFGHN-12432. A water vendor poses.

“It is very difficult to put a hard and fast figure to the number of children dying from hypothermia alone on Kabul’s streets as there would undoubtedly be other reasons that would make them sick or vulnerable in the first place,” UNICEF regional communications chief Sarah Crowe wrote.

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 “Extreme poverty, having lost a parent, being trafficked or displaced, or many other reasons may have forced them on to the streets where they would be deprived of their most basic needs (decent food, health, immunization, protection) and exposed to the extreme cold of Afghan winters.”

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“There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.”
– Khaled Hosseini,  The Kite Runner

War’s Children

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by stevemccurry
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Young Hazara Soldier, Kabul, Afghanistan

 

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies is, in the final sense, a theft from those who
 hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”
- Dwight David Eisenhower

 

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Unknown Cambodian girl, Holocaust Museum, Phnom Penh

 

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Kuwait

 

In recent years, an estimated 20 million children have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict and human rights violations and are living as refugees in neighbouring countries or are internally displaced within their own national borders.

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Afghanistan

  

More than 2 million children have died as a direct result of armed conflict over the last decade.
More than three times that number, at least 6 million children, have been permanently disabled or seriously injured.

  

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Afghanistan

More than 1 million have been orphaned or separated from their families.
Between 8,000 and 10,000 children are killed or maimed by landmines every year.
- Source:  UNICEF

  

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Afghanistan

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Afghanistan

 

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Afghanistan

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Afghanistan

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Kunduz, Afghanistan

  

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Kabul, Afghanistan

 

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Thailand

 

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Kashmir

In peace, sons bury fathers, but war violates the order of nature and fathers bury sons.

- Herodotus,  c. 484 – 425 BCE

 

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Luzon, Philippines

 

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Lebanon


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