Save the Children in its latest report said that 9.6 million children in Afghanistan are going hungry every day due to a dire combination of economic collapse, the impact of the war in Ukraine and the ongoing drought, new figures released on Tuesday show.
According to the report, immediate food assistance is needed to save lives in the short-term, but aid alone is not enough to tackle the country’s worst hunger crisis on record.
“Every single day our frontline health workers are treating children who are wasting away in front of our eyes because they’re only eating bread once a day –and those are the lucky ones. Children in Afghanistan have never known a life without conflict, and if action is not taken soon, they will not know a world without gnawing hunger and empty stomachs. Now is not the time for the world to turn its backs on Afghanistan’s children,” said Athena Rayburn, Director of Advocacy, Communications and Media Save the Children.
But some analysts believe that in order to solve the challenges which children are facing, special financial support programs should be created in the country.
“A special fund for financial support of children in coordination with the government and humanitarian institutions should be created and provide work opportunities for humanitarian institutions to support children,” said Shaker Yaqoubi, an economist.
“In the long run, the work needs to be done to improve the economy of the people and create job opportunities for families to provide enough food for their children,” said Muzmal Shinwari, an economist.
Meanwhile, a number of children in Kabul say that poverty has made them work on the street instead of going to school.
“I really want to be at home, to study and to go to a school course, but we cannot afford it. We come here and sell masks on the street,” said Sonia, a child laborer.
“My father is sick. We are five members at home. We sell pens on the streets from morning to evening, but no one buys them,” said Medina, another child laborer.
Previously, Save the Children said in a report that families have been forced to send their children out for work, and that one million children in Afghanistan are now working on the streets.