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In 2022, the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC) reached over 216 000 children and youth through their educational programs. Over the last few years, NAC has worked with 353 public schools. We have ensured over 500 school classes for children in local communities that did not have access to school. More than 7 200 teachers and members of local shuras have been given training on resource mobilization, pedagogy, and educational leadership.

This is a statement from the NACs annual meeting, June 10th 2023. 

Skolebarn i klasserom

Young boys in their classroom in Warduj

There is an increasing demand for education in local communities in Afghanistan, and we see a clear positive change in attitude towards girls and womens right to education. In the more than two hundred primary- and secondary schools that NAC supports in rural Afghanistan, more than half of the students are girls. Afghan fathers want education for their daughters. Despite the Taliban’s many restrictions, we have been able to take advantage of the room of opportunity that still exists, to continue or work for the right and access to education for all Afghan children. The restrictions for girls and womens education and participation in society shows that the leadership of the Taliban is increasingly out of step with the population. In addition to creating grounds for increased conflict, the restrictions are also a clear breach of human rights.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world today. The consequences of more than forty years of conflict, war, and corrupt rulers, has left 97% of the Afghan population on the brink of starvation. Before the Talibans return to power, 80% of the state budget was financed by international aid. The sanctions against the Taliban, and the drastic reduction in long-term aid, has led to increased poverty, worsened food security, and increased vulnerability for natural disasters as a result of climate change. Meanwhile, many families are experiencing larger financial insecurity due to girls and womens exclusion from education and work, in a country where many households are headed by widows or single female breadwinners with children. This has brought the population into a ”colletive depression” which leads to an increasing amount of the population seeking opportunities to leave the country. It is important for NAC to continue taking advantage of the rooms of opportunity, so that all Afghans can have access to basic services such as healthcare and education.

Read more about or work on education here

The Norwegian government is amongst few in the world that continue a high level of development aid to Afghanistan, and that has increased their support to education of women as a response to the Taliban’s restrictions. Though this is very positive, they have also cut the long-term development aid to increase the spending on shorter term humanitarian aid, which is not sufficient to alone meet the complex challenges that Afghanistan are facing after decades of war, and additionally now the increasing consequences of climate change; such as floods and drought. We thus encourage the Norwegian government to increase the long-term development aid to Afghanistan in next year’s state budget. This is an important investment in the Afghan people, and necessary to stop Afghanistan from going from a crisis – to a disaster.

Watch our films about education here