Afghan girl sold for $500 to feed her family: Desperate parents reveal they gave their daughter to a stranger ‘who wants her to marry his son’ – or their other children are at risk of starvation
- Starving Afghan families sell their children in a desperate bid for money
- BBC spoke to mother who sold her daughter for $500 to pay for food for her sons
- World Food Program warned 22.8 million people will face acute food insecurity
Starving Afghan families are selling their children in a desperate bid for money after the Taliban takeover ended foreign funds that supported the economy, a BBC report reveals.
Reporter Yogita Limaye traveled to a village outside Herat, in the west of the country, and spoke to a mother who sold her daughter for $500 to pay for food for her other children.
The buyer is an unnamed man who claimed he wanted to raise the girl to marry his son, there is no guarantee.
Reporter Yogita Limaye traveled to a village outside Herat, in the western part of the country, and spoke to a mother who sold her daughter, pictured, for $500 to pay for food.
The parents explained that they had no food for their other children, three with their father in the picture. The guy who bought the girl paid $250 of the $500 and returns to pick her up
He paid $250 as a down payment, enough to feed the family for a few months, and will return to pick up the baby as soon as she can walk.
The World Food Program warned Monday that more than half of Afghanistan’s population, about 22.8 million people, will face acute food insecurity from November.
“My other children died from being older, so we had to sell my daughter,” the mother said. ‘How can I not be sad? She is my child. I wish I didn’t have to sell my daughter.’
Her husband, who used to earn money collecting garbage but has struggled since the Taliban takeover, added: “We are starving.
‘At the moment we have no flour, no oil in the house. We have nothing. My daughter has no idea what her future will be. I don’t know what she will think. But I had to do it.’
They are just one of many families who feel they have no choice when it comes to selling their children. While the BBC crew was in the village, they were approached by another family who asked if they wanted to buy one of their children.
The mother, in the photo, felt she had no choice but to sell her daughter for the sake of her family. Her daughter will live with them until she can walk and then will be taken away
Child marriage has been practiced in Afghanistan for centuries, but war and climate change-related poverty have prompted many families to resort to contracting earlier and earlier in girls’ lives.
Boys’ parents can negotiate harder and secure younger girls, keeping the repayments apart.
The issue has worsened since the Taliban takeover three months ago. International funds supporting Afghanistan’s fragile economy have been halted as the world debates how to deal with the new regime.
This is also having a dangerous impact on health care, which has been financed almost entirely with foreign money.
Now medical personnel are not paid and there is no money to buy medical supplies.
A mother, whose young twins are in the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Herat, told Limaye: “Two of my children are facing death because we have no money.
“I want the world to help the Afghan people. I don’t want other mothers to see their children suffer like that.’
The United Nations has issued a stark warning – that millions will die if urgent aid does not reach the country soon.