Feature: Impoverished Afghan children further suffering due to U.S. sanctions-Xinhua

Feature: Impoverished Afghan children further suffering due to U.S. sanctions

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-05-31 21:43:30

KABUL, May 31 (Xinhua) -- For Nawid, his whole day is about supporting his family by peddling on the streets with no idea what a "normal" childhood should look like.

June 1 is marked in different parts of the globe as International Children's Day to highlight the rights of children and promote their well-being.

However, in war-torn Afghanistan, countless children like Nawid, unaware of their rights, have been working on the streets from dusk until dawn to support their impoverished families.

"I want the U.S. government to unfreeze Afghanistan assets, pave the way for creating job opportunities because the prices of everything is sky-rocketing in the bazaar," Nawid, 12, in hushed tones told Xinhua.

As the eldest son and breadwinner for his four-member family, Nawid sells shopping bags to earn meager money and buy a few naan, Afghan traditional flatbread for his mother, younger sister and brother.

"I go to sell shopping bags every day. If I earn some money, I will bring naan home," Nawid, a sixth-grader, said sheepishly.

Recalling his miseries, Nawid said he could hardly buy new clothes for himself and always is busy supporting his mother and family.

Dreaming of completing his studies and feeling saddened by the loss of his father, Nawid recalled that his father used to bring everything from the bazaar to his family, but everything changed with his death.

Thousands of Afghans had been killed or maimed during the U.S.-initiated 20-year war on Afghanistan launched with the excuse of fighting terrorism. Nawid is among countless Afghan children who have lost their parents.

The United States has frozen more than 9 billion U.S. dollars worth of assets of the war-ravaged country's central bank, further worsening the already poverty-stricken nation.

Nawid's mother Laila, 39, described her living condition as being extremely painful, saying her children need food but feeding them properly is very difficult, as she hasn't been able to provide square meals for months.

"The prices of basic goods were low in the past. The price of 1 kg of cooking oil was 50 Afghani but now it costs 150 Afghani (about 1.7 U.S. dollars), and the prices of flour and rice have also gone up. We always go to the bazaar and return home empty-handed," Laila said.

Likewise, Nawid's friend Assadullah also works on the streets to support his poor family.

"I work on the streets from morning to evening and hardly earn 10 to 20 afghani to buy naan. We have no meat, no clothes and nothing at home," eight-year-old Assadullah told Xinhua.

Living in a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Kabul, Assadullah, a second-grader in public school, dreams of becoming a medical doctor in the future.

The head of the makeshift camp, Taws Khan, 55, expressed his fears about growing poverty, explaining that despite a drop in the price of flour, poor families cannot afford it.

Khan also blamed the sanctions imposed by the United States on Afghanistan as the root cause of poverty in his country, saying the sanctions have entirely destroyed Afghans' living conditions.

"The money belongs to Afghan people, including so very many orphaned children," Khan said. (1 U.S. dollar equals 87.5 Afghani).