NEW YORK (September 17, 2021) – “UNICEF welcomes news that secondary schools in Afghanistan will be open tomorrow after closing down for months due to COVID-19.

“We are deeply worried, however, that many girls may not be allowed back at this time.

“Girls cannot, and must not, be left behind. It is critical that all girls, including older girls, are able to resume their education without any further delays. For that, we need female teachers to resume teaching.

“Even before the most recent humanitarian crisis, 4.2 million children were not enrolled in school. Around 60 percent of them are girls. Every day that girls miss out on education is a missed opportunity for them, their families and their communities.

“There has been significant progress in education in the country over the past two decades. The number of schools tripled. The number of children in school increased from 1 million to 9.5 million.  

“These are important improvements for the country’s children that we must respect and protect. 

“UNICEF urges development partners to support education for all children in Afghanistan.

“UNICEF will continue to advocate with all actors so that all girls and boys have an equal chance to learn and develop the skills they need to thrive and build a peaceful and productive Afghanistan.” 


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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information, visit


For more information please contact:
Erica Vogel, UNICEF USA, 212.922.2480,
Lauren Davitt, UNICEF USA, 212.922.2503,