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UNGEI statement on school attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan

NEW YORK, USA, 10 February 2009 The United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) condemns the attacks on schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and calls for all parties to respect the right to education and ensure that children - particularly girls - are safe from violence.

According to UNICEF, in Afghanistan, in 2007 a total of 236 school attacks resulted in 108 deaths and 154 injured.  In 2008, a total of 293 school attacks have taken place resulting in 92 deaths and 169 injured.

In Pakistan, 172 government and private schools, particularly girls' schools, have been blown up or burned down in the Swat valley district in the Federally Administered Tribal Area and the North West Frontier Province, reportedly by illegal armed groups, since 2007.

More schools have also closed due to occupation by these groups or security forces, or due to their female teachers being threatened in both countries.

UNGEI will continue to work with the governments of these countries and partners to ensure that all children, girls and boys, have access to quality education. UNGEI calls for all parties to respect the right of girls and boys not to be harmed and to work towards this objective.


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