Delegation of the European Union to Afghanistan

Protection for Afghan children affected by conflict and drought

09/01/2019 - 18:16
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"I am happy here. I came here to learn and to draw" - these are the words of 12-year-old Fatima, one of several migrant children returning to Afghanistan from Iran, now happily benefiting from UNICEF's EU-funded child friendly spaces.

eu-unicef afghanistan, unicef

Displacement, migration and conflict negatively affect Afghan children who face multiple deprivations in terms of poverty, insecurity and limited access to education and healthcare. 

The drought in the northern Afghan provinces has affected many migrant children returning to Afghanistan from Iran. To support children who return, the EU funds community structures and children's reintegration into their families and local communities.

In the areas where children return, child protection mechanisms have been established. Child-friendly spaces and recreational activities help these children to play again and help them restore a sense of normalcy to cope with the stress of migration.


The child-friendly spaces set up with EU funding by UNICEF offer structured play to these children and others at risk of unsafe migration. Up to 50,000 returning Afghan children receive psychosocial support over the four years that this regional programme runs and several thousand will benefit from specialised psychosocial help.

The child protection is provided by UNICEF as part of "Afghan Children on the Move" - an EU action to protect children in Afghanistan. In the child-friendly spaces, children can play together and feel safe, which also strengthens their families.