- Afghanistan has been under the rule of the Taliban for almost a year.
- Surrounded by the country’s economic collapse and lack of resources, the children of Afghanistan are suffering.
- According to the humanitarian director, the children need support in the face of forced labor, malnutrition and school shortages.
A year after the Taliban took over, children in Afghanistan are facing death, suffering and an uncertain future.
As forced labour, malnutrition and a ban on education weaken the population, Asunta Charles, a humanitarian aid worker, told ISAIR that Afghan children are in urgent need of support. After the Taliban took control, the United States and its international allies froze nearly $10 billion in the country’s assets, leaving those who remained in the country in need of foreign aid.
“This is not the right time for the international community to walk away from Afghanistan, but to give more and more support so that the next generation will not suffer, but see life and hope,” said Charles from South India.
Charles has been working with World Vision for two years and has lived in Afghanistan for almost 20 years. A Christian organization that focuses on helping children facing poverty and justice.
Since the Taliban regained control in August last year, economic collapse, drought and massive earthquakes have devastated the area and its people.
“One thing that gives me real concern is the future of girls and boys in this country. Because the next generation is missing out on so many opportunities for so many reasons,” Charles told Insider.
According to a study by the non-governmental organization Save the Children, an estimated one million children were forced into child labor in February.
“It’s really going to have a psychological impact on kids in this country right now, not just physically,” Charles added.
It is not uncommon for children under Taliban control to work for a living.
After school, some children, mostly boys, are forced to sell items to earn money for food or to search for garbage to burn for heat.
The dramatic change in women’s rights in the region over the past 20 years has seen girls being denied education beyond primary school.
Outside of education, the lives of Afghan youth are at risk.
Hundreds of children have been killed playing outside by landmines left over from the war.
And in February, nearly 5 million children were at risk of starvation, The Guardian reported. And, as of August, 90% of households in the country don’t have enough food to survive, CBS News reports.
Some parents are faced with the impossible decision of marrying off their children or selling them in the bazaar in order to feed the rest of the family.
“That’s why we want to continue to advocate that it’s not the right time to forget the people of Afghanistan, and especially the children, and that the world must stand by them, and that’s very, very important,” Charles told Insider.
She acknowledged the many humanitarian issues happening around the world, but said she did not want the world to forget about Afghanistan.
“There’s a lot of crises around the world, so people tend to deal with different conflicts, so there’s such frustration among people, they forget,” Charles continued.