Afghanistan Is Starving

POLITICS & POLICY
A displaced Afghan woman walks with her child after receiving money and aid supply from UNHCR agency outside a distribution center on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, October 28, 2021. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

Reports of a growing humanitarian crisis are emerging from Afghanistan, as tens of millions face death by starvation.

Some parents are selling their children in order to feed the rest of their family. CNN reports on a nine-year-old sold to a stranger as a child bride.

The BBC interviewed a mother of two twin boys, both of whom are dangerously malnourished. “Only God knows what I go through when I look at them,” she said.

“Two of my children are facing death because we don’t have any money. I want the world to help the Afghan people. I don’t want any other mother to see their children suffering like this.”

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Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the World Bank is working to deliver up to $500 million from a frozen Afghanistan aid fund to humanitarian agencies but that it “remains complicated by U.S. sanctions.” The Washington Post explains:

Before the militants took over in August, foreign donors — largely wealthy Western countries led by the United States — paid for up to 80 percent of all Afghan government expenses. Since then, donors have frozen all funding, as leverage to press the Taliban to meet demands including rights for women, girls and minorities, an inclusive government, and freedom from reprisals and of movement.

It’s a high-cost strategy. Interruptions to foreign aid don’t just hurt the Taliban — but also millions of innocent men, women, and children.

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