UNICEF facts on Children and Women in Afghanistan

UNICEF, January 2000

- 22.1 million people live in poverty and substandard conditions

- Infrastructure in ruins from 21 years of war

- Systemic gender discrimination against women and girls

- Widespread human rights abuses based on ethnicity, religion and language

- Landmines

- 309,000 children under five years of age die each year; under-five mortality rate ranks fourth worldwide

- The education of girls is banned in over 90 per cent of the country.

- Only 17 per cent of population has access to safe water, and only 10 per cent to adequate sanitation

- Adult literacy rate is 27 per cent for men and 5.6 per cent for women

- Primary school enrolment for both girls and boys is low

- An entire generation of children has grown up amidst armed conflict

- The infant mortality rate measures 165 per 1,000 live births, while the under-five mortality rate is 257 per 1,000 live births.

- Diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections cause an estimated 42 per cent of childhood deaths.

- Poor access to obstetric care and a lack of reproductive health and family planning services contribute to the declining health status of women and children.

- One in five children present signs of acute malnutrition

- More than one half of women of reproductive age have never received tetanus toxoid (TT).

- The quality of education is poor, and school enrolment countrywide is low.

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