Kabul, Apr 26 (EFE).- The holy month of Ramadan this year has become one of the most difficult Afghanistan has experienced so far due to an acute food crisis since the Taliban came to power last year, the nonprofit Save the Children said Tuesday.
This is the worst food crisis in the country since records began, and its expected to result in half of the country’s population of nearly 40 million people – especially children – going hungry this year, the NGO said in a statement.
The food shortage has become more evident during the current period of Ramadan, traditionally considered a time of celebration for Muslim families, who break their day-long fast with a heavy meal.
“Ramadan is drastically different for many families in Afghanistan this year. At the end of a day of fasting, families would usually eat a meal together called Iftar, where several dishes would be shared. However, parents tell us they’re distraught that they cannot provide the usual Iftar meal for their children,” said Save the Children’s Country Director in Afghanistan, Chris Nyamandi.
“Sometimes they are only eating bread after fasting for more than 12 hours,” he underlined.
“Even before Ramadan, many families struggled to provide three meals a day for their children and have been forced to skip meals, reduce portion sizes or remove nutritious foods such as fruit and vegetables from their diet,” said Nyamandi.
This situation has forced many families to send their children to work, and some cases they only get “US$ 0.72 a day carrying people’s bags,” according to the organization.
The capture of Kabul by the Taliban on Aug.15 last year and the consequent economic sanctions by the international community have not ceased to undermine the day-to-day lives of thousands of Afghans grappling with a deep economic and humanitarian crisis.
An Afghan woman told Save the Children under the condition of anonymity that her family’s income fell “dramatically” since the arrival of fundamentalists, and they can no longer afford to pay their rent and their entire income goes towards buying food.
In the face of these series of hardships, Nyamandi demanded greater visibility for Afghanistan, and efforts to seek solutions.
“Our clinics are full each day with children who are just skin and bone, and our doctors spend sleepless nights trying to work out how they can save them. Solutions do exist and the world must act now,” he concluded. EFE