PAN, January 3, 2012

Children in Badakhshan's town dying of hunger

Khan, who left his six children with the district chief, said he could not see them dying of severe hunger

By Farid Tanha

Children in Afghanistan dying of hunger
(Photo: PAN)

Juma Khan, a resident of Khwahan district in northeastern Badakhshan province, says "the ongoing drought and snowfall have destroyed all of his property, forcing him to hand over his six children to the district chief for survival.

Speaking over the telephone, he said the ongoing drought and continued snowfall had badly affected him economically.

People lacking food and suffering from cold weather conditions are yet to receive any assistance from the government and other organizations, he said.

Khan, who left his six children with the district chief, said he could not see them dying of severe hunger.

"I have seven children and have no food for them to eat. I cannot migrate to other areas due to the closure of roads by snowfall," said, Habibullah, a resident of Shin Dara village.

He said he could lose his children to hunger if the situation remains unchanged.

The town's acting administrative head, Shah Waliullah, said that unseasonal snowfall and continued drought had confronted residents with serious problems.

He claimed nearly 20 poor families had submitted their children to him because they had no food.

The shortage of food stuff in the district has sent their prices record high. Seven kilograms of wheat were priced at 300 afghanis ($6.09137), 50 kilograms of flour at 2,300 afghanis ($46.7005) and 7 kilograms of rice at 430 afghanis ($8.73096).

Efforts to provide assistance to the district residents could not succeed due to the blockade roads.

Development council director, Maulvi Hisamudin, said most of the district residents were farmers and relied on livestock.

He said residents were compelled to sell a cow for 2000 afghanis ($40.6091) against its original price 20,000 afghanis ($406.091) due to the lack of animal feed.

The World Food Programmen (WFP) officials had promised providing 73 tonnes of wheat in assistance to residents, but the aid could not reach them so far.

Governor Shah Waliullah Adib said they had already submitted a report about the problems facing residents of district to the officials concerned in Kabul.

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