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Afghanistan worst place for children: UNICEF

Written by: Staff

Geneva, Nov 20: As the ravages of the US-led invasion still lingers in Afghanistan, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report presents a very disturbing picture.

Calling it to be the worst country to be born in especially for girls, the report said that Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world with an estimated 257 deaths per 1,000 live births.

In addition to which insecurity due the presence of Taliban insurgents has deprived children of vital vaccinations against polio which is still rampant in the country and has made them vulnerable to deadly diseases.

70 percent of the population lacks clean drinking water.

"Afghanistan today is without a doubt the most dangerous place to be born," said Daniel Toole, UNICEF regional director for South Asia, adding that insecurity has made 43 percent of the country  virtually off-limits to aid agencies.

Toole said that while there has been increase in the enrolment of students in schools, with a rise of 5 million, including 2 million girls, the increase Taliban attacks on schools could lead back-tracking of this progress.

Echoing Toole's view on a separate occasion, UNICEF director Ann Veneman said that US has not ratified the 'Rights of the Child' pact, adopted the UN General Assembly meant for the of protecting children worldwide 20 years ago.

Somalia and US are the only two nations who are not part of the pact.

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