Poverty and Hunger in Afghanistan

Poverty is a national and international challenge. Almost two million people suffer from the poverty phenomenon across the world. Unfortunately, Afghanistan has been recognized as the second poor country after Somalia in the world. Especially recently, the poverty wave becomes wide day by day due to the United Nations warning regarding the probability of human catastrophe that 18 million Afghans do not have food security and 97 percent of Afghanistan’s households might go under the poverty line by mid-2022. The current situation of Afghanistan indicates poverty and hunger crises.

Recently, a photo of a teenage girl by the name of Najiba has been posted on social media that shows her father sells his own daughter to provide for his basic needs. In addition, sources say that eight children have been died due to starvation in the west of Kabul. The sale of girls and children by their families, as well as the loss of children in various parts of Afghanistan due to starvation and hundreds of other poverty-related events, make it clear that Afghan families are forced to sell their beloved ones in order not to starve. If this situation continues, surely people will think of no value except getting rid of hunger. In addition to increasing the human catastrophes caused by hunger, this will lead to increased instability.

Furthermore, poverty and hunger are the bitter stories of the Afghan people who have been fighting this crisis for a long time. Especially, after the fall of the previous government and the presence of the Taliban, citizens are more helpless than ever in providing their basic needs.

However, many factors have contributed to the crisis, including long-term drought, water scarcity shortages, most importantly, recent political changes and internal strife. In other words, the re-emergence of the Taliban, in addition to reducing hope and motivation for life among the people, displaced thousands of families and made them homeless, and most people have lost their jobs and their source of income. In this way, the way for people to earn money is more closed than before. Those who were busy with work have lost their jobs; therefore, each of them increases poverty and hunger among the people, and all of them create a crisis that requires serious action by the Taliban and the international community.

In order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, the United Nations needs to call on the international community to take action commensurate with the scale of the crisis. Since the issue of life and death is at stake, the international community must work together to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan, rather than freezing Afghanistan’s financial resources and cutting off humanitarian aid.

In addition, the United Nations must engage in dialogue with the Taliban to reduce poverty because poverty will be reduced forever when the factors that create and increase it in Afghanistan are eliminated. Therefore, the United Nations must work closely with the Taliban and, in some cases, put pressure on them to focus more on the causes and dimensions of poverty in order to reduce poverty.

In the current situation, focusing on the following three issues can solve some of the country’s economic challenges in the future.

Illiteracy: one of the causes of poverty is illiteracy and the low literacy of Afghan citizens. The Taliban should try to focus on educating people without ethnic or gender discrimination.

Supporting domestic products: experience and research have shown that one of the ways to fight poverty is to support domestic products and industries in that country. Afghanistan has numerous mines of raw materials and even in this respect is the pride of neighboring countries. Paying attention to this will help reduce poverty.

Unemployment: this challenge is considered one of the main causes of poverty in the country. Since the fall of the republic and the presence of the Taliban, this factor has become even more widespread. Therefore, the Taliban must provide employment for the people so that the people can earn a living.

In conclusion, it can be said that Afghanistan is heading towards a serious economic crisis. Before a humanitarian catastrophe occurs, serious and immediate action must be taken in accordance with the current situation in Afghanistan because the international community has cut off or suspended its humanitarian aid in the presence of the Taliban, the Taliban must take steps to lift sanctions, and attract international aid. Afghanistan will not be able to overcome this crisis unless it has the current global cooperation and assistance. In addition, the Taliban need to focus more on eliminating the causes of poverty inside the country.