During a visit to Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Children’s hospital, Abdi met with dozens of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening illness.
Accompanying Abdi was UNICEF Regional Director George Laryea-Adjei and UNICEF Afghanistan Representative Hervé Ludovic de Lys.
According to a statement issued by UNICEF, “without immediate action, an estimated one million children in Afghanistan are projected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2021 and could die.
“Severe outbreaks of measles and acute watery diarrhoea have further exacerbated the situation, putting more children at risk.”
Abdi also met with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials and highlighted children’s need to access basic health care, immunization, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child protection services.
He called for polio, measles and COVID immunization campaigns to resume immediately to help protect children and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Abdi also stressed the critical importance of ensuring all boys and girls are allowed to continue their education at all levels and participate meaningfully in building the future of their country.
“UNICEF will continue to press for the rights of every girl, boy and woman in Afghanistan. Our objective is to see an Afghanistan where every girl and every boy are in school, have quality health care, and are protected from all forms of violence,” Abdi said.