Family selling their children in Afghanistan to survive as country economy collapsing

Family selling their children in Afghanistan to survive as the country economy collapsing

Matters Arising learnt that, Families in Afghanistan reportedly forced to sell their children to pay off debts with the country’s economy on the brink of collapse following forceful takeover by the Taliban.

One destitute mother, who earns just 50p a day working as a housecleaner in the western city of Herat, owes £400 to a man she borrowed money from to feed her family. The woman, identified as Saleha, has been told by the lender he will write off the debt if she sells him her three-year-old daughter Najiba, reports The Wall Street Journal.

If Saleha, 40, does not pay the debt back in three months, her daughter will be moved out of her family home to work in the lender’s house before she is married off to one of his sons when she reaches puberty.   

Other families in Herat have been forced to sell their children in order to repay their debts, residents said

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August, the country’s economy is on the brink of collapse.

That has seen the value of its currency collapse, while prices for basic goods have soared due to shortages, with the UN warning that food could run dangerously low soon. 

Chief of the UN this week warned that Afghanistan is facing a ‘make-or-break moment’ as he urgently appealed to countries to inject cash back into the Afghan economy, which before the Taliban takeover in August was dependent on international aid that accounted for 75% of state spending.

Afghanistan is grappling with a liquidity crisis as assets remain frozen in the U.S. and other countries, and disbursements from international organizations have been put on hold

The effects of the economic collapse could prove lethal for the country where a third of the population survives on less than $2 per day.

For Saleha, she now must find enough money to pay off her debt – or lose her three-year-old daughter. Her husband, who is much older, does not work. 

Saleha and her family had been working on a farm in Badghis but were forced to flee to Herat as a result of fighting. They were forced to borrow money to feed themselves.

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