Code 36320
PublishDate: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 09:01

Human rights abuses exacerbating poverty in Afghanistan, UN report finds

“Poverty actually kills more Afghans than those who die as a direct result of the armed conflict,” Norah Niland, Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Afghanistan, told reporters in Kabul today.

“Poverty is neither accidental, nor inevitable; it is both a cause and a consequence of a massive human rights deficit,” she added.

“The deficit includes widespread impunity and inadequate investment in, and attention to, human rights. Patronage, corruption, impunity and over-emphasis on short-term goals rather than targeted long-term development are exacerbating a situation of dire poverty that is the condition of an overwhelming majority of Afghans.”



According to the report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), some 9 million Afghans – 36 per cent of the population – are believed to live in absolute poverty and a further 37 per cent live only slightly above the poverty line, despite an estimated injection of some $35 billion during the period 2002-2009.

Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world and the third highest rate of child mortality. Only 23 per cent of the population have access to safe drinking water, and only 24 per cent of Afghans above the age of 15 can read and write, with much lower literacy

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