Poverty Surges in Afghanistan Under Taliban

Poverty Surges in Afghanistan Under Taliban

(HorizonPost.com) – It didn’t take long for the Taliban to take over the country after President Joe Biden pulled the last US troops from Afghanistan. International funding that kept its economy afloat ceased, plunging many into poverty after the extremist group seized power in the Middle Eastern region. Deborah Lyons, the United Nations (UN) special representative for Afghanistan, stated the nation is nearing a “humanitarian catastrophe.” In fact, some estimate the economy decreased by about 40% under Taliban rule just since August.

After the takeover, many in the country lost their jobs and couldn’t afford food, much less education, especially for the girls who were no longer allowed to attend public schools. In addition, two-income families suddenly had to rely on one income because of the Taliban’s ban on women in the workplace.

Afghan Families in Poverty

According to reports, almost 50% of the people in Afghanistan were already living in poverty when the US was still helping keep the country stable. Now, the UN estimates over 8 million are near famine, and more than 13 million additional residents are facing food insecurity. Many of these citizens were previously middle-class families that were once stable or thriving.

Kids who used to go to school now spend their time looking for work because their families are destitute and they have no other choice.

Unfortunately for the Afghan people, the radical group halted the free press in the country, making it difficult to assess the gravity of the situation. With the Taliban’s tight grip on the nation, donors willing to help need to be careful the extremists don’t confiscate their assistance before it can make its way to the people in peril.

Providing International Help

To avoid this issue, the United States and other countries are using the UN as an intermediary, so money and supplies can reach their intended target. While the UN Development Program, World Health Organization, and UNICEF are paying doctors and nurses to keep the healthcare system functional, the World Food Programme is giving money and food directly to families in need.

The WFP spokesperson for Afghanistan, Shelley Thakral, said desperate people are scavenging for food, missing meals, and stretching out what they have to avoid starvation. Some have even sold their daughters to bring in money to feed the rest of the family. With the combination of the Taliban regime taking over the country in addition to the pandemic ravaging the region, life in Afghanistan is especially dire.

Although help seems to be on the way, there’s no guarantee it will continue to evade the Taliban and reach the families who need it the most. The UN aid agencies say any delay in delivering supplies could be catastrophic.

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