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UNICEF To Pay Stipend To Afghan Teachers

Afghan schoolchildren help set up their classroom on the outskirts of Jalalabad. (file photo)

The United Nations children's agency will pay Afghan teachers a monthly stipend for at least two months, the organization said, as salaries remain unpaid for months amid an economic crisis in Afghanistan.

The payments of roughly $100 per month would be paid in the local currency to around 194,000 primary and secondary school teachers for January and February, and would be funded by the European Union, UNICEF said in a statement on February 20.

"Following months of uncertainty and hardship for many teachers, we are pleased to extend emergency support to public school teachers in Afghanistan who have spared no effort to keep children learning," said Mohamed Ayoya, the representative for UNICEF Afghanistan.

The country has been in economic crisis since the Taliban took over last August as foreign forces withdrew. Restrictions on the banking sector due to sanctions and a drop-off in development funding left the new administration struggling to pay many public sector salaries, including those of teachers.

The international community has been grappling with how to engage with the Taliban without formally recognizing its government and has made education for girls a key demand when speaking with the group, according to diplomats.

The Taliban-led government has been vague on its plans for girls' education with many still unable to attend secondary school in a large number of provinces. However, the group has said it is working on plans to allow girls to return to school and is opening universities this month with women attending.