– Now we are forced to sell our two-year-old daughter

In the second winter since the Taliban took over and foreign funding was frozen, millions are just one step away from famine.

– Our children keep crying, and they don’t sleep. We have no food, Abdul Wahab added BBC.

KABUL: An Afghan mother helps her malnourished boy at the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul.  Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

KABUL: An Afghan mother helps her malnourished boy at the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul. Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Furthermore, he says that they go to the pharmacy, get tablets and give them to the children so that they become drowsy.

He lives just outside Herat, the country’s third largest city, in a village with thousands of small mud houses filled with people who have been displaced, affected by war and natural disasters.

Ghulam Hazrat has six children. The youngest is one year old. She has given them alprazolam, a pill to treat anxiety disorders.

– I even give it to him, he said.

LOST CHILDREN: Nazia (30) has lost four children due to severe malnutrition, holding her malnourished baby in a hospital in Parwan province north of Kabul.  Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

LOST CHILDREN: Nazia (30) has lost four children due to severe malnutrition, holding her malnourished baby in a hospital in Parwan province north of Kabul. Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Humanitarian disaster

One woman told the BBC that they ate dry bread in the morning and at night they dipped it in water to make it moist.

The UN has said that a humanitarian disaster is now unfolding in Afghanistan. According to over 24 million people in Afghanistan need emergency aid United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

A majority of the men in the area outside Herat work as daily wage labourers. They have lived difficult lives for years.

WORKERS: Afghan children work in a brick factory on the outskirts of Kabul.  Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

WORKERS: Afghan children work in a brick factory on the outskirts of Kabul. Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

But when the Taliban took over last August, foreign funding to Afghanistan was frozen, triggering an economic collapse.

This meant that the men rarely had work to go to.

On the rare days they get to go to work, they earn approximately NOK 11 a day, according to the BBC.

Extreme choices

Selling organs for money is not uncommon in Afghanistan.

CNN met a boy in his 20s who had sold his kidney for around NOK 30,000.

They also spoke to a mother who had sold a kidney. They had to pay back debts, money they had borrowed to buy a flock of sheep.

KIDNEYS SOLD: Afghan men who have sold their kidneys in the past four years.  Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP

KIDNEYS SOLD: Afghan men who have sold their kidneys in the past four years. Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP

– Now we are forced to sell our two-year-old daughter. The people we borrowed from harass us every day and say give us your daughter if you can’t pay us back, she said.

– I feel so ashamed of our situation. Sometimes I feel it is better to die than to live like this, her husband said.

PLAYING: Afghan girls play along the Dakhla dam, in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar.  Photo: JAVED TANVEER/AFP

PLAYING: Afghan girls play along the Dakhla dam, in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar. Photo: JAVED TANVEER/AFP

According to the BBC, there were several who had sold their daughters.

The father of a four-year-old girl said they have no money to buy food, so he had announced in the local mosque that he was going to sell his daughter.

The daughter has been sold to marry a boy from a family in the southern province of Kandahar. She will be sent there when she is 14 years old.

Malnutrition

According to Doctors Without Borders there was a malnutrition crisis and thousands of children were affected in 2021 and the start of 2022.

Drought and economic reasons were some of the reasons why so many suffered from malnutrition.

WEIGHED: A malnourished baby is weighed at the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul.  Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

WEIGHED: A malnourished baby is weighed at the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul. Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Malnourished children are extra vulnerable to other diseases and health problems, and MSF treated around 100 children weekly at nutrition centers in Herat and Helmand.

Around 1.1 million Afghan children under the age of five will face malnutrition by the end of the year, according to the organisation.

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