Statement on the Crisis for Children in Afghanistan

February 01, 2022

Statement on the Crisis for Children in Afghanistan:

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago leaders and community have watched with immense sadness and concern as images and stories of the suffering children of Afghanistan have been covered by the international news media during the last few days. We have been horrified at scenes of innocent children being openly trafficked by their parents out of sheer desperation and helplessness as they face starvation. These shocking images serve as a stark reminder that millions of children around the world are suffering from hunger, extreme poverty, abuse, disease and child trafficking while lacking access to education and healthcare. As part of Lurie Children’s global efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of children around the world, we call upon the US and Afghan Governments, United Nations as well as international relief and aid organizations to take action to alleviate this latest crisis of suffering of these Afghan children and the broader population. We understand the challenges seem overwhelming and we ourselves are struggling to find the best means to assist. However, it is the basics of human dignity and respect as well as our commitment to address disparities that require us to raise awareness of this ongoing tragedy in the hopes the world will come together to improve the plight of these children in Afghanistan and other children across the world in similar circumstances.

Fizan Abdullah, MD, PhD

Division Head, Pediatric Surgery; Program Director, Fellowship in Pediatric Surgery; Orvar Swenson Founders’ Board Chair in Pediatric Surgery

Director, Northwestern Institute for Global Health Center for Global Surgery; Professor of Surgery Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine