Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a Staff Correspondent for JURIST in Kabul offers his observations on deepening poverty in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s response to the situation. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding our Correspondent’s name. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.
Today, a family sold their baby girl due to poverty in Badghis province. Local media say that the family sold their three-year-old daughter to a shopkeeper to be able to pay their loans. The person who took the girl had threatened the family with imprisonment unless they paid. This family lives in a camp built for displaced people in that province.
This is not the first time that kids have been put on sale in the country. Previously, some families did the same in Kabul, Herat, Farah, Kapisa, and other provinces of the country. Due to international sanctions on the Taliban and cuts of diplomatic ties with Afghanistan, the financial sector has been severely affected.
Poverty and the general economic crisis are deepening since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. Domestic and international companies have left, national and international non-governmental organizations have left, and all this has led to the unemployment of thousands across Afghanistan.
The Taliban seem to have no plan to fight poverty and the economic crisis in the country. Instead, they are relying on their limited number of negotiations with the Europeans and the US to provide Afghans with the humanitarian assistance.
Prior to the collapse of the former government, the Afghan economy was dealing with major development challenges. However, the recent political change has pushed the country into its worst economic crisis in recent memory.
So far, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran, China and Pakistan have all assisted the Taliban with humanitarian assistance. However, the Taliban have not publicized how they have distributed this assistances to poor and needy Afghans. If the Taliban keep silent on how they are actually distributing assistance to needy and poor Afghans, there will be concern that the money is being spent on the Taliban itself.