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Afghanistan is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, reversing many of the gains of the last 20 years, including women’s rights. Since the Taliban took over the country in August 2021, Afghans have been devastated by rapid economic decline, inflation, hunger and malnutrition, drastic rises in poverty, a near-collapse of the national public health system, a stifling of the media and civil society sectors, and almost total exclusion of women and girls from public life. The UN estimated that 23.7 million Afghans – more than half of the country’s population – will require humanitarian assistance to survive in 2024.

Due to the loss of livelihood, many parents cannot afford education for their children. This led to school drop-out and increased risk of exploitation, e.g. child labour, child marriage or child trafficking. Among all children, those from ethnic minorities with visual or hearing impairments are the most vulnerable. CEDAR and a local partner provide education services such as training on life skills, braille or sign language, facilitating public school enrolment, training teachers to support students with special needs, after-school tuition, facilitating girls’ access to education through hiring female teachers, etc. Apart from education services, CEDAR Fund supports one healthcare partner in Afghanistan to provide healthcare services to malnourished children and pregnant women and free treatments to vulnerable groups.