Quality of health care, education lamented 10 years after Taliban

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Features

By Mustafa Kazemi for German Press Agency

Kabul – An umbrella group of aid agencies working in Afghanistan warned Friday that time is short to improve education and health care, which remain poor 10 years after the fall of the Taliban regime, breeding frustration among Afghans.

Widespread dissatisfaction exists about the quality of education and health services among Afghans interviewed in 14 provinces despite more students going to school and more clinics built, according to a survey conducted by the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief released Friday, the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

‘Health and education services provided to ordinary Afghans are patchy and often poor quality,’ the group said.

Anne Garella, the head of the group, noted that 57 billion dollars in development aid has been spent since 2001 but ‘this research highlights the gap between positive rhetoric and grim reality.’

The report also found growing fear of violence and military activity among Afghans that prevents them from attaining access to basic services.

The group called on participants at the international meeting on Afghanistan planned in December in the German city of Bonn to take further measures to ensure the prevention of civilian casualties by the warring parties in Afghanistan. It also demanded development aid be civilian-led.

The Taliban regime was overthrown in the 2001 invasion after it refused to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States, which accused bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network of carrying out the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

After the invasion, the international community made a commitment to rebuild Afghanistan. More than 40 countries have a military and non-military presence there to try to achieve that goal.

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