Afghanistan is a country that is shrouded in mystery, war, tragedy, and uncertainty. The land is barren and prone to harsh environments and weather conditions. Afghan culture however, represents a diamond in the rough; a rich blend created over centuries of Middle Eastern and Asian influences.
At this time, unfortunately, there is still much to address in the humanitarian, health and education spheres of Afghan society. According to UNICEF, Afghanistan is the world’s second least developed country, with 36% of the population residing under the poverty line.
UNICEF identifies that Afghanistan holds the second highest child mortality rate for children under five at 97/1000. With an average population age of 18 years old it is crucial that these children receive an education to grow into leaders for the country. However, most of the population (77%) live in rural areas where education is largely unattainable.
In order for the economy to grow and expand, there needs to be a stronger push for education, and also in health. Afghanistan maintains the world’s highest maternal mortality rate at 18,000 deaths per year.
There remains a lack of medical facilities within Afghanistan. Lack of facilities extends to a lack of stock and medicines. It is a country that remains fragile and dependent on outside sources for support, even to sustain basic functions, capabilities and routine.
It is unfortunate that currently the public overlook Afghanistan as a country in need of support. With contemporary media focusing on the hardships experienced in Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan fades into the background. It suffers in terms of support and donor exhaustion due to the scale of misery that currently plagues the world, particularly in the Middle East.
Afghanistan has become one of the most elusive countries in the world. It has become so obscure that the world is beginning to forget about it. Over the recent years Afghanistan has experienced an atmosphere that is shrouded in violence, insecurity and fear, yet the cameras have been turning away.
The past year has seen an increase in violence that is predicted to surpass those before 2001, when the Taliban fell. Security has begun to collapse and the Afghan people are more frightened than ever. Attacks on civilians and medical facilities have risen by fifty percent during the last year heightening fear and insecurity.
The conditions in Afghanistan are dire. Recently, a retiring senior Red Cross official made headlines when he emphasised the need to prioritise Afghanistan as precedence in donor applicants. “The world must not let Afghanistan become a forgotten crisis…the international community must keep their attention on Afghanistan. It’s far from being over”.
We must remember Afghanistan.
Mahboba’s Promise is currently running a Remember Afghanistan appeal during this time of end of financial year giving. To find out more how you can make a tax deductible donation visit the website (http://mahbobaspromise.org/remember-afghanistan/).