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Kabul, Saturday, 23 August 2014 - Today the Afghan Cricket Board and the United Nations Population Fund signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Afghan Cricket Board for current and future partnership. The signing took place at the office of the Afghan Cricket Board with Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad, Chief Executive Officer representing the Cricket Board and Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson, UNFPA representative in Afghanistan.

"Today on behalf of UNFPA and as part of our youth program we are strengthening our partnership through this memorandum of understanding with the Afghan Cricket Board. In this partnership UNFPA and the cricket board will work together towards youth empowerment in Afghanistan, organize joint advocacy campaigns, events and materials to challenge gender norms and values that adversely affect women's and girl's rights, and advocate for keeping girls in school and in sports, for the health of young mothers and for the prevention of child marriage. Under this MoU we will also be delivering basic life skills training to young male and female cricket players", said Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson UNFPA representative.

"Cricket in Afghanistan is a comprehensive platform for both social and development activities. UNFPA in Afghanistan, among other activities is working for Afghan youth, both boys and girls. I believe their partnership with ACB will be very effective for their interventions in Afghanistan", said Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad, CEO of Afghanistan Cricket Board. Currently cricket in Afghanistan has the attention of a large number of youth, particularly due to its achievements in the international arena. Similarly cricket board has the international attention for the same achievements. Our first memorandum of understanding with UNICEF and now second one with UNFPA shows our hard work and achievements. I believe that with UNFPA, together we will be able to show our effectiveness in even more comprehensive activities".

Afghanistan has a very young generation and international experiences show that investing in youth, particularly girls have dragged countries out of poverty and conflict. According to the Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan 63% of the Afghan population is below the age of 25. This presents Afghanistan with a historical opportunity to invest in Afghan adolescent and youth and help them grow educated with a mentality for a bright future and for a developed Afghanistan.

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