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Afghanistan war: What about the children?

Few Afghans have benefited more from the past 10 years of post-Taliban government than children, but there are still tough problems to solve. 

By Scott BaldaufStaff writer / September 3, 2012



Kabul, Afghanistan

They work hard; and despite their country's poverty and political instability, they play hard, too. Few Afghans have benefited more from the past 10 years of post-Taliban government than children, and few stand to lose more if their nation slips back under Taliban rule after US and NATO troops depart in 2014.

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Some developments have been overwhelmingly positive, such as wider access to education. A decade after Taliban rule restricted girls' education, more than half of school-aged girls are in class, says the United Nations.

Other problems have been tougher to solve.

Afghanistan has the world's highest infant mortality rate, according to the UN, and 1 of every 4 children dies before age 5. Half a trillion dollars of military assistance and $57 billion in direct aid seem to have had little impact on the nation's economy. One in 3 Afghans lives on less than $1 a day, the UN says.

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