Over 24% of children in Afghanistan suffer from anxiety: UNICEF


KABUL (SW) – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has expressed concern over the rising mental health issues among children in Afghanistan, stating that more than 24% of children aged 5 to 17 in Afghanistan suffer from anxiety and 15% experience depression.

According to a report on its website, UNICEF noted that children in Afghanistan are ten times more likely to suffer from mental health disorders compared to the global average.

Factors such as war, migration, high rate of poverty, natural disasters, and the dangers posed by leftover explosive remnants of war have significantly contributed to the increase in mental health conditions among Afghan children, according to the report.

The report highlights that ongoing restrictions on girls’ education and diminishing hope for their future have compounded challenges, limiting their access to essential services and healthcare.

UNICEF added that providing psychological care and support to four million children and their caregivers across 34 provinces in Afghanistan last year. In the current year, they aim to support 3.6 million individuals.

Despite challenges, UNICEF emphasizes the shortage of counselors, mental health providers, psychologists, and social workers in Afghanistan.

Last year, UNICEF trained 3,000 social workers, nearly half of whom were women, to address these pressing needs.