World Vision: The hope of a future for children must be the focus at tonight’s Afghanistan humanitarian conference

World Vision Australia is calling on world leaders to unite at a key humanitarian conference tonight to ensure the rights of women and children in Afghanistan are protected, after recent decisions to ban girls above grade six from attending school. We also urge world leaders to pledge much-needed funding to avert epic loss of life due to famine-like conditions in Afghanistan.     

World Vision Australia CEO Daniel Wordsworth appealed to international government leaders to fully fund the USD $4.4 billion humanitarian response plan at tonight’s Afghanistan Pledging Conference, to provide life-saving relief for millions of children in dire need. 

“Almost half of the Afghan population is below the age of 15, and some 10 million children across Afghanistan are in need of humanitarian assistance to survive,” Daniel said.  

“Access to food continues to affect many families in the western areas of the country, with the situation exacerbated by looming drought,” he said.  

World Vision continues to provide life-saving cash assistance as well as early livelihood recovery options which enable families to produce food for themselves while earning some income from surplus produce. 

“Life-saving assistance is the essential first step, but it also needs to be linked to support to the economy and stabilisation of basic services,” Daniel said. 

“Without a functioning economy, I fear for the future of the children of Afghanistan, but we can change things if we take action together tonight.” 

Daniel said education is a fundamental right for children including adolescent girls, which must be upheld. 

“It is heartbreaking to see this past week the reversal of the Taliban’s commitment to allowing children regardless of their gender to attend school. Every child deserves the right to education,” he said. 

More funding was needed to meet the water and sanitation needs of the most vulnerable communities. 

“Cholera is already affecting some cities and urban fringes in Afghanistan. An escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic can be averted if the international community acts as one,” he said. 

“The rights and needs of children, including their protection, education, health and nutrition and food security, must be central to funding strategies,” he said. 

At the Federal Budget this week, the Australian Government committed $50 million over the coming year to address urgent humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, with a focus on women and girls.  

World Vision is advocating the Government commit $100 million each year in humanitarian assistance, including at least $30 million as a food security package to be channelled directly via frontline responders in Afghanistan to address crisis levels of hunger.  

“We have already scaled up our operations in Afghanistan and we’re working with local partners to address the urgent food, water and other humanitarian needs of children in the country,” Daniel said. 

“We stand ready to work with the Australian Government to ensure the pledges made tonight reach those most in need, especially children.” 

World Vision is Australia’s largest international humanitarian and development organisation working in some of the world’s most fragile places to help children and tackle the big issues like climate change and world hunger. 

Media Contact:  

For further information or to organise an interview, please contact: 

Kathryn Powley at or on +61 428 734 902. 


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