Kabul, 22 January 2022 (TDI): Insecurity, increasing drought, and fear of Taliban on one hand; harsh cold, lack of food, and neglect of the world, on the other hand; and between both sides, Afghan children are threatened with starvation in front of the eyes of their mothers, whose limbs are dried from the cold.

The Harsh Reality of Afghanistan Crisis
As soon as the UN workers reached the scene, they found the body of a seventy-year-old bearing the remains of a soul that had not eaten in more than three days
As soon as the UN workers reached the scene, they found the body of a seventy-year-old bearing the remains of a soul that had not eaten in more than three days

Despite the bone pain and hunger, a slender grandmother stood in an enormous queue to distribute relief materials, supporting her sore hands from the wounds of dry skin caused by the harsh cold and the darkness of the last days of her life.

On a wall that was witnessing their misery and understanding the reasons for their long waiting, the stones of this wall were witness to their suffering. The wall was trying as hard as it could to embrace her, and she was trying to embrace it.

It was one of the few who feel, her excruciating pain, which does not leave even what remains of her bones in peace. The wall was ashamed of standing without help, whereas in comparison the free people of the world were unashamed to be called human beings.

When the elderly woman fell to the ground, she was met by an old wooden chair that had suffered as much as she had, drying up its wood as much as her bones had. It was not a victorian-style chair in front of an English fireplace but was of tenderness the size of mountains to ease its shock on the ground and prevent its bones from breaking.

None of the others in line for relief moved. Each of them was worried about losing their place in the queue, where they stood for hours to silence their children’s crying and prolong their miserable lives one more day.

In the corner of the scene, a Taliban soldier stood, dressed in wool enough to keep a family warm and carrying his Russian-made rifle. As soon as the UN workers reached the scene, they found the body of a seventy-year-old bearing the remains of a soul that had not eaten in more than three days.

“We go for days without food.”

Not only she was in need, but many people are as well. In order to feed her children, a mother asks for an additional packet of cereal. A 65-year-old grandfather explains that he has been trying to care for 26 family members since they returned from Pakistan to their home area in July only to discover that their home had disappeared.

Since August, they have been living in the open in Kabul. “We go without food for days,” he said, adding that one package of relief items meant for a family of seven would not last long. Still, he said, “anything is better than nothing.”

Almost half of Afghanistan’s population is now dependent on aid as the economy nears collapse. Over 3.5 million people have been displaced by conflict in the country, including 700,000 this year alone.

About 15 kilometers outside Kabul, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, operates a facility where many women, children, and men queue up in the shy sunlight, unable to get rid of the coldness they carry in their faces and bones.

As they wait for the Taliban soldier to open the gate and allow them entry into the compound, they hold relief coupons in their hands.

Terrorism & Poverty

Despite the belief of experts in combating terrorism that poverty is not a cause of terrorism and that its link to recruitment by terrorist organizations is weak, the truth is that a line exists between poverty and the loss of hope and faith in mankind.

While according to their perspective, poverty does not contribute to terrorism, what is happening in Afghanistan now goes beyond the stages of poverty to reach the point of disbelief in humanity itself.

There, the dangerous level will appear, and they will come out to turn themselves into weapons and bombs, not only to confront those who were responsible for the deaths of their children and families from starvation, but also those who remained silent and ignored their suffering.

UNHCR Role in the Winter-weary Country

The UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations are providing aid to over 1,000 Afghans who have been displaced throughout the country. The children are also provided with blankets, plastic sheets, cooking stoves, buckets, water jerry cans, soap, hygiene kits, and utensils, in addition to blankets and plastic sheets.

In addition to food assistance, some of the most vulnerable people also receive cash assistance. Those who can afford to do so have been renting apartments in the city, while the rest have been sleeping under makeshift shelters or in one of two parks in the city.

As low as -25°C may be experienced in winter in the capital, putting those who sleep outside at risk of hypothermia. Safi Ullah, 25, who fled from Nangarhar Province in July, said, “I used to plaster buildings before fleeing our village.

Rockets kept falling near our homes. Our home caught fire after being hit, so we were forced to flee to Kabul with just the clothes on our backs.” People do not abandon their homes only because of insecurity.

Afghanistan is undergoing its second severe drought in four years, and food production has been adversely affected. Nangarhar province faced drought and economic difficulties because the farms did not produce enough and people did not have any other source of income.

One of two parks in Kabul where displaced people are staying is full of people living in the open or under makeshift tents. Kabul has two parks where displaced people live in makeshift tents or in the open. Kotal Khairkhana is one of them.

According to the latest update from the World Food Programme, hunger was widespread even before the Taliban took control of the government two months ago. By mid-September, one in every three Afghans was facing a crisis- or emergency-level food insecurity, with only 5% having enough to eat.

The UNHCR has provided emergency shelters, blankets, solar panels, and cash to some 100,000 Afghans over the last two weeks. So far this year, more than half a million displaced people have received assistance from the organization.

A logistics hub has been established in Termez, close to the border with Uzbekistan, to allow for the prepositioning and rapid delivery of aid into Afghanistan, and the agency is ramping up its efforts to reach more displaced people before winter sets in, but it needs more resources.

Only 35% of the funds required to sustain operations have been received. Ahmad Seraaj, 14, and his family fled Maidan Wardak Province in central Afghanistan in search of safety in Kabul.

The 13-member family moved to Kabul after their house was damaged by mortar shells, he said as he and his father waited for aid, “We only brought a few belongings with us and have encountered economic difficulties since we cannot find work. We are in need of assistance.”

According to UN figures, 156,000 displaced people have returned home since fighting subsided. 660 families have returned home to the northern parts of the country with UNHCR’s help over the past week.

Upon their return, citizens receive $200 for transportation and another $400 for reintegration assistance. The government will assist another 280 families in returning to the central highlands by the end of October.

However, some of those displaced to Kabul are concerned that their homes and livelihoods will have been destroyed by the fighting, so they won’t be able to return. Mehraboudin, 28, fled clashes in his hometown in Parwan Province in July. “I can’t go back,” he said. “I have no house and no job, so what will I do?”

The Final Sight
We have no choice but to wait for the death we are accustomed to
We have no choice but to wait for the death we are accustomed to

Standing silently in the relief queue, her features were rigid. After losing her traditional face cover due to the impact of the wind, she did not hide that stagnation, the beauty of her features. Twenty-nine-year-old widow carrying the worries of the world and a crying child who was constantly screaming from hunger.

“We have no choice but to wait for the death we are accustomed to, as it will inevitably come in a tragic way.” No longer do we hear about deaths caused by diseases. Mortar shells, bullets, or starvation are the three main causes of death in Afghanistan. For a moment, she lost herself in her mind, then she said, “I don’t prefer the last one.”. It is the harshest and most painful.” Donate now