Afghanistan dispatches: a high school teacher dies of starvation in Kandahar as unemployment and poverty conditions worsen
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Afghanistan dispatches: a high school teacher dies of starvation in Kandahar as unemployment and poverty conditions worsen

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 reports on the death of a high school teacher from starvation and the worsening conditions of unemployment, poverty, and inflation. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding his name. The text has only been lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

A high school teacher died of starvation on Tuesday in Kandahar. According to a local hospital, the teacher did not eat anything for at least four days. This is a direct consequence of mass unemployment and poverty as millions struggle to feed themselves and their children this winter. Poverty conditions are worsening and the Taliban is doing nothing to address the situation.

In recent months, various international organizations have repeatedly expressed concerns about the humanitarian crisis and warned about the possible deaths of thousands of children from starvation and malnutrition in Afghanistan. In October, UNICEF estimated that 3.2 million children under the age of five in Afghanistan will suffer from while over one million Afghan children could die of acute malnutrition by the end of 2021 if some urgent action is not taken.

As we head to the last days of 2021, UNICEF said that the situation of Afghanistan’s children worsened in comparison to the previous year. According to UNICEF, this situation is the result of a combination of war, drought and the coronavirus. With the fall of the previous government, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, and we are now dealing with uncontrollable inflation, unemployment, and harsh winters. It is nothing but disaster!

The Taliban’s only action so far is an instruction to the economic commission to take actions to prevent the decline of the Afghani and stabilize prices. Unfortunately, neither this commission nor the Taliban-led government has the capability to take any such action. Not to mention, they have nothing that even resembles a plan.

Moreover, I highly doubt that directing the economic commission and attempting to prevent fluctuations in prices through the central bank are going to do anything to address the more immediate concerns of poverty and hunger. We need a real and practical plan of action to address those problems. This is not possible currently, due to lack of funding. The Taliban should begin direct negotiations with the international community right away to receive the needed funds and other types of assistance.