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TALLINN - The Foreign Ministry has supported an uninterrupted school year lasting throughout the winter for over half a million Afghan children by donating 50,000 euros through UNICEF, the Estonian Foreign Ministry reports. The UNICEF project, “Winter emergency preparedness,” will outfit schools with the necessary facilities and materials to remain open during the winter months.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that many provinces in Afghanistan experience harsh winters and the ones that suffer the most are children. “Often lessons have taken place in cold classrooms that lack heating, floors and doors. It has also been necessary to close schools during the winter due to the extreme cold.
The temporary closing of schools in the winter - sometimes for months at a time, during an already short school year - negatively affects the children’s ability to get an education,” emphasized Paet. Many residents of Afghanistan remain vulnerable due to continuing violence, natural disasters, and extreme weather conditions.
An estimated 4.1 million people in Afghanistan still require food aid and agricultural support and 68 percent of the population of Afghanistan lacks access to clean drinking water and sanitary facilities. Among school-age children, 42 percent lack the opportunity to get an education, and 15 percent of the entire population lacks access to all basic health care services.