EU provides Euro 40 mn for polio vaccines, child protection in Afghanistan


The European Union contributed an additional Euro 25 million for polio vaccines and Euro 15 million for child protection in Afghanistan.

Andreas von Brandt, EU Ambassador to Afghanistan said that it is dangerous for children working outside the home, especially when these migrant children are at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse.

"That is why the EU is contributing an additional Euro 15 million to UNICEF, to help identify boys and girls returning to Afghanistan who need help, and children at risk of migration, and give them options other than migration or labour," he said as quoted by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

According to a UNICEF statement, several Afghan children were forced to work, and some even take the risk of labour overseas as 88 per cent of households had at least one child working under severe conditions outside the home.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan said that the EU is contributing a combined Euro 25 million to UNICEF and the World Health Organization to support polio vaccination campaigns across the country, especially at borders where children might be transiting.

"Afghanistan is one of the two remaining polio-endemic countries in the world, and transmission often occurs when children move from Afghanistan to Pakistan and back, causing them to miss their regular vaccination appointments," Ayoya said.

"These funds will allow UNICEF and WHO to strengthen polio vaccination efforts to ensure all children in the country, and those crossing transit points, are vaccinated against polio," he added.

According to the statement released by UNICEF, the organisation had procured 33.5 million doses of polio vaccines, vaccinating between 6.3 to 9.8 million children from May 2021 and April 2022.

"Permanent teams positioned at busy borders with Iran and Pakistan have also vaccinated 1.2 million migrating children," the statement reads.

With the exception of Afghanistan, and Pakistan, polio has been completely eradicated worldwide, according to Khaama Press.