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  • Gali Weiss

Scenes of Hunger Crisis

A young woman in Kabul that I am in touch with has been inside her accomodation for months, not going out due to the danger she is likely to face. I asked her about the situation of food and money at this time.

"With the fall of Afghanistan by the Taliban terrorist group, our people have lost their peace and are living in poverty and misery. The Taliban entered and seized Kabul within hours without a gunfight. Since that day, they have done nothing to calm people down or to improve people's lives. The absolute majority of our people have lost their duties and jobs, schools and universities have not yet opened, government offices have yet to start operating again, institutions and local NGOs and organisations have stopped their activities, banks are not properly active. People's sources of income have been cut off and people are facing food shortage. In these days, the number of beggars who are women and children in the city has increased, and people are all complaining about the lack of work and income. More than 80 percent of people do not currently have enough food, and if the situation persists like this, we will soon see more heartbreaking scenes."

"This is the situation of all bakeries in Afghanistan."

Another contact has reported the situation as spiralling out of control economically with the Taliban not even able to feed themselves.

Journalist Federica Marsi of Al Jazeera writes that health workers in Afghanistan, both public and private, are battling a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportions. Personnel and resources are dwindling as the country’s healthcare system nears collapse.

This is part of her article:

Tankred Stöbe, medical coordinator at Doctors Without Borders (MSF), was on duty at MSF’s inpatient therapeutic feeding centre in Herat when a toddler named Sabratullah was brought in three weeks ago.

“He was close to death,” Stöbe told Al Jazeera. “He couldn’t respond, his eyes were sunken, he couldn’t eat or drink by himself any more.” The 18-months-old boy’s body weight was down to 3.5kg (7.7 pounds) – the weight of a healthy newborn – and Stöbe and his team rushed to inject his feeble body with a nutritious solution.

“To see this little boy on the verge of starvation, in a city where you see food at every corner, is heart-breaking,” Stöbe said. Herat is considered one of Afghanistan’s agricultural and business hubs.

One in three Afghans is estimated to be acutely food insecure due to high food prices and increasing poverty, among other factors, with the situation likely to get worse, aid agencies say.

At MSF’s feeding centre in Herat, 60 beds are now occupied by more than 100 children below the age of five who are suffering from malnutrition. Nearby, the organisation’s emergency clinic receives more than 1,000 people a day but is able to treat a maximum of 400.

Sabratullah, the 18-month-old boy his team fought to bring back to life, has since died.

Article by By Federica Marsi, 28 Sep 2021

Images have been sourced from local Afghan social media.


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