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Many people will have seen over the past few months images which show the terrible suffering of Afghanistan's refugees and in particular the children – the injured bodies which show the physical suffering of those children and the bewildered, haunted expressions which reveal their emotional trauma. They have arrived in camps with nothing except the clothes they are wearing. No reports or pictures can adequately convey the squalor and degradation of the conditions in which those children barely cling to life.

Over the past couple of years I have visited the refugee camps near Peshawar in Pakistan several times, yet every time I went, armed with the painful knowledge of previous visits, I was always unprepared for what I encountered there.

The camps resembled vast dumping grounds with endless rows of tents made from plastic bin-liners. By far the most disturbing sight was the thousands of refugee children; starving, physically exhausted, disorientated and debilitated by disease but also emotionally traumatised by fear, uncertainty and grief. Almost every child in the camp had lost at least one close family member to war. Many had seen a parent die in front of them in the camp.

It is estimated that the lives of 1.5 million Afghan refugee children under the age of five are now at serious risk. One in four children born in Afghanistan today will die before their fifth birthday and half of all Afghan children are undernourished.

Afghanistan's children are one of the most traumatised child populations in the world and we are witnessing a massive-scale humanitarian tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes. If we choose to turn a blind eye then millions more children will die.

Closure of the Appeal - Communication to donors.