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UNICEF appoints young Afghan cricketer as national ambassador


Kabul – The UNICEF on Wednesday said a young and leading Afghan cricketer has been announced as UNICEF Afghanistan’s national ambassador.

“The leading cricketer, Rashid Khan, has today been announced as UNICEF Afghanistan’s National Ambassador.

“In his role, 20-year-old Khan will help UNICEF to promote girls’ education, tackle malnutrition, eradicate polio and improve child immunisation rates,’’ the statement by UNICEF said.

The announcement came as the conflict and insurgency still affects a great number of Afghan children and pose threats to their life opportunities.

According to Khan, it is an honour to be named as UNICEF Afghanistan’s National Ambassador.

“I have always wanted to be involved in improving children’s lives by contributing to issues pertaining to health, education and nutrition.

“UNICEF provides me a great platform to do so. I am eagerly looking forward to this association and hope we can make a change for a better tomorrow,’’ he said.

According to the statement, in spite of the significant progress in the past 17 years, 3.7 million Afghan children, including 2.2 million girls, remain out of school.

“At the same time, malnutrition levels remain high with 600,000 children under the age of five suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

“Some 2 million children stunted (short for their age due to malnutrition), greatly impacting their cognitive development,’’ the statement said.

It noted that as a National Ambassador, Khan is part of an esteemed UNICEF tradition, dating back to 1954.

The organisation partners with local artists, athletes and other celebrities to raise public awareness about children’s issues and to improve the lives of children and women around the world.

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