Children’s right organization, ‘Save the Children’, has revealed that a woman from Afghanistan has been forced to sell one of her twins to enable her buy food for the remaining children. Afghanistan’s food crisis has become so dire that an increasing number of families are forced to take desperate measures to be able to feed their children.
Bibi gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl a few months ago, but she and her husband, Mohammad, decided they had no choice but to give one of them up as they did not have enough money to feed their eight children. According to reports, they gave the child to a childless couple.
“We have nothing, so how could I take care of them (both). I suffered from having to split them up. It was a very difficult [decision], more than you could imagine. It was especially difficult to give the baby away because of poverty”.Bibi
The heartbreaking story was uncovered by ‘Save the Children’ staff in Afghanistan and is the latest reported incident of poverty-stricken parents being forced to abandon their children across the globe.
According to a report by ‘Save the Children’, more than 97% of Afghans are predicted to sink below the poverty line by mid-next year. ‘Save the Children’ reported that the country is facing its worst food crisis on record, and an increasing number of families, like Bibi’s, “are being pushed to make desperate, life-altering decisions in order to survive”.
Bibi explained that she intended to give her baby away without seeking any payment for the child. In the end, they received a small sum of money in exchange for the baby.
“I couldn’t afford milk, food, or medicine. With that money, I could buy food for half a year”.Bibi
The family was displaced from their farm about seven months ago due to prolonged drought, which has devastated crops and pushed millions to the brink of famine. It has been extremely difficult for Mohammad to find work for even a couple of days a week. Even when he does, a full day’s wage does not even cover two days of expenses for his family.
In order to supplement the family’s income, their son, Hamdast, who is 12 years old, works in the local market pushing carts that carry people’s personal belongings.
“We need help, we are hungry and poor. There are no work opportunities in Afghanistan. We have children. We need flour and oil the most, which we don’t have. It’s also good to have firewood. I could not afford to buy meat in the last two or three months. We only have bread for the children which is not always available”.Bibi
More Cases are Recorded
Per reports by ‘Save the Children’, stories like Bibi’s, are becoming common in Afghanistan. The organization disclosed that it learned of the second case of a distressed mother of twins, Fatima, who came under pressure from her family to leave one of her babies who is malnourished because of poverty.
Fatima’s 18-month-old twins, Ara and Milad, are both unwell and weak. With the weather getting colder and Ara suffering from severe malnutrition, Fatima explained she can’t afford to care for her children as a single parent, but she did not want to give Ara away.
“My son and my daughter cried throughout the night because they were hungry. We have nothing in my house. We have no food, no flour, we have nothing. My husband doesn’t send us money. [He says] ‘let her die’. Everyone was telling me, ‘We will buy her’, but I didn’t give her up. I have lots of hope for my children to be healthy in the future”.Fatima
Millions of children are at risk of illness or even death because they don’t have enough to eat, ‘Save the Children’ warned, with an estimated 3.2 million children under the age of five expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year.
Nora Hassanien, acting Country Director in Afghanistan said: “It is absolutely heartbreaking that some Afghan families are being pushed to such extreme, desperate measures in order to survive and feed their other children. No parent should ever have to make the impossible decision to give up a child.