Save the children: hungry, laboring Afghan kids ‘wasting away’


International organization Save the Children in a report said that 97 percent of families can’t prepare food for their children, and they are “going to bed hungry.”

“Life is dire for children in Afghanistan, one year since the Taliban took control. Children are going to bed hungry night after night.

They’re exhausted and wasting away, unable to play and study like they used to. They’re spending their days toiling in brick factories,

collecting rubbish and cleaning homes instead of going to school,” said Chris Nyamandi, Save the Children Country Director in Afghanistan.

Mursel (alias) is a girl who works morning to night as a street vendor in Kabul to buy food for her family.

Mursal says that her daily income is 200 or 300 Afghani and that is not enough for her family’s expenses.

“My father is sick, and my brother needs an operation, for this reason I work here and sell pens to make more money for my brother’s operation.” Said Mursal, a street vendor.

Meanwhile the Islamic Emirate said that despite economic problems, the children’s situation is being addressed.

“For decades we have had economic challenges in the country … saying that after the Islamic Emirate took power the challenges have increased is just a claim, we are trying to solve children’s economic and family challenges and put them in the path of education,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of Islamic Emirate.

With Afghanistan struggling with a fractured political state amid a feeble economy, thousands of children are forced to work.

Abdul Shukor, 13, works as a street vendor and collects plastic from the trash cans.

“I go to school in the morning and go to work from noon till evening. I collect the plastic bottles and sell them and earn around 50-60 Afs per day,” he said.

“My husband has gone to Iran because our situation has so badly deteriorated,” said Shokur’s mother.

But how effective is the aid provided by the international donors to the people of Afghanistan?

A women and children’ rights activist, Mariam Arween, said: “The reason for the deteriorated situation of the children is the current poverty in the country. Which will be only solved for a short time through aid.”

The Islamic Emirate said that they have formed plans to overcome the poverty across the country.

“The main reason of the children’s poverty is the families’ economic problems. And, therefore, we are looking forward to creating jobs for the families to protect the children,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy Minister of Economy.

An earlier report by the Save the Children put the number of child laborers around one million.— Tolonews

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