MADRID, Aug. 15 (.) –
More than a third of children have been forced to work to help their families in an Afghanistan that, two years after the return of the Taliban to power, continues to deteriorate in basic survival issues such as food security, according to a survey carried out by the NGO Save the Children, which calls for an urgent injection of aid to the international community.
The organization has interviewed families from six provinces –1,207 adults and 1,205 children– and has verified that 38.4 percent of minors have fallen into child labor, while in 12.5 percent of households the children emigrate in search of a job. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that one in ten Afghan children has been forced to work.
Hunger is also a constant, to the point that 76.1 percent of children acknowledge that they eat less than a year ago, partly victims of a drought, the worst in three decades, which has already affected 58 percent. of homes. The NGO has warned of gender bias, since 17 percent more girls than boys have seen their food reduced and more than twice as many households headed by women suffer from severe hunger.
“My kids come to me and say, ‘Mom, we don’t want to eat boiled rice. Give us French fries.’ But teary-eyed, I have to say, ‘I wish we had potatoes in the kitchen, but all I can cook is boiled rice. “Says Sajida, 31, who lives with her family in northern Afghanistan. Two of her daughters, 8-month-old twins Nahida and Nadira, have been diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and are receiving treatment at a Save the Children mobile clinic.
“We don’t have water in our village. We go to another village and use donkeys to bring it here. There are long lines (of people) waiting for water. All the farmers pray for rain, but this year they have no hope. They believe that the drought will destroy the life we knew”, says this woman.
The director of Save the Children in Afghanistan, Arshad Malik, has warned that, two years after the Taliban took Kabul and regained power lost in 2001, the situation for families is “dire”. “The fact that children are being pushed into unsafe practices, such as work and migration, should shock the world,” he added.
The international community reduced its humanitarian aid to the country to prevent it from falling into the hands of the new regime, but Malik has questioned this “isolationist approach”, given that it implies “punishing” children “for decisions with which they do not They had nothing to do with it.” Thus, the NGO has called to give priority to the rights of children, especially the right of girls to education.