The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed a $40 million agreement to increase international support for Afghan children, particularly adolescent girls, to realize their right to education. This is USAID’s newest contribution to Afghanistan’s education sectors and comes after the Taliban’s March announcement blocking girls above grade six from school.
With the funding provided by USAID through this agreement, UNICEF will have the resources to provide hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Afghans with desperately needed cash assistance to keep their children in school—children who would otherwise not attend or drop-out of school due to ongoing humanitarian, economic, and political crises. This assistance builds on USAID’s partnerships with the Afghan people and UNICEF ensuring students have the resources to learn foundational skills, such as reading, writing, and math.
Over the past 20 years, USAID has directly contributed to the establishment, expansion, and improved quality of Afghanistan’s education system. In the wake of the Taliban takeover in August 2021, access to safe, quality, and relevant education is no longer a reality for many Afghans, including many of the 1.1 million adolescent girls previously enrolled in secondary schools. Through USAID’s robust support to the education sector—which may include relevant training for female teachers, delivering textbooks, and providing direct support to families with school-aged and adolescent girls—USAID aims to create the conditions needed to retain a skilled female teacher workforce and keep girls learning across the primary and secondary levels.
This award advances USAID’s overall education assistance in Afghanistan to sustain academic learning and access to education opportunities—particularly for women and girls—and ensure the safety and wellbeing of teachers and students.