Poverty-stricken Afghan families driven to selling children as millions face starvation

The United Nations World Food Program has warned that millions could die unless urgent action is taken to save 22.8 million Afghans who are near starvation

Parents outside the city of Herat talked about selling their young daughter because their other children were starving (

Image: REUTERS)

Afghanistan, ruled by the Taliban, is on the verge of a major catastrophe with impoverished families so desperate they want to sell their children to men, other families and an uncertain future.

Almost a million children are at risk of starvation, the United Nations World Food Program has warned.

The group has said millions could die if urgent action is not taken to save 22.8 million Afghans who are near starvation.

Afghans have been hit by a worldwide relief blockade since the sudden withdrawal of western troops from Kabul.

The brutal takeover of power by the Taliban has resulted in the new government lacking international recognition of the new government – and no more help.

Mourning parents outside the city of Herat have told how they sold their young daughter to a man living nearby for the equivalent of 360 pounds.

The man has claimed that she will be married to his son when she is older, but the parents know that the girl has a much worse future than marrying his son.

A family in the intensive care unit at Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabu
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Image:

REUTERS)

The nameless mother cried when she told a BBC reporter, “My other children were starving, so we had to sell my daughter.

“How can I not be sad? She is my child.

“I wish I didn’t have to sell my daughter.”

Her husband’s only job used to be collecting rubbish on site, but even that doesn’t make money now.

The Taliban completed their appalling takeover in Afghanistan in August this year
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

The husband says, “We are starving. At the moment we don’t have any flour or oil at home. We have nothing.

“My daughter doesn’t know what her future will look like.

“I don’t know how she’ll feel about it, but I had to.”

Babies sleep in a common bed in the maternity ward of Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul
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Image:

REUTERS)

The man paid half the fee for the baby and will pay the rest when it is handed over to him in a few months.

David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, said:

“Afghanistan is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today, if not the worst.

“We have a countdown to disaster.”

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