Misery brings down bride price in northern Afghanistan, UN

Deutsche Presse Agentur, June 22, 2001

Islamabad (dpa) - Misery caused by drought and conflict has brought the bride price down in northern Afghanistan, a United Nations office in Islamabad said Friday. Families in Balkh and Baghlan provinces are having a hard time finding enough to eat and are ``giving away their daughters at greatly reduced bride prices and at a young age'', the office of the U.N. Coordinator for Afghanistan said in a statement.

"Some of these families have coped as long as they can. Now, they are simply at the end of their rope," the deputy coordinator, Antonio Donini, said.

"People are suffering because of war, drought, and widespread poverty that is, itself, an outcome of the deepening crisis," said the regional coordinator based in Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of Balkh province. He called for "immediate action" by the aid community.

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