Joe Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan last year has left many Afghans starving under the rule of the Taliban. Some have reportedly been selling their “children and kidneys” to obtain food.
Sky News said that its reporters had met entire families who have sold their kidneys on eating. In one case, journalists interviewed five siblings who sold organs for around $1,500 to raise funds to feed their families.
Reporters also interviewed a mother who said her young child had just starved to death. The journalists also said they have spoken with several parents who have begun selling their children.
The US government has organized foreign aid to support the Afghanistan economy since 2001. In 2020, foreign aid payments made up 43 percent of the nation’s entire gross domestic product (GDP). The World Bank noted at the time that the war-torn country’s economy was “shaped by fragility and dependence.”
The Taliban displaced the Afghan government put in place by the US within hours of the American withdrawal last August. After Kabul fell, the US moved to block the Taliban’s access to around $9.4 million held in Afghanistan’s central bank. Foreign aid from the international community was halted shortly after that. Afghanistan’s already fragile economy rapidly collapsed.
Since the Taliban takeover last August, Afghanistan’s GDP is estimated to have fallen by at least 30 percent, according to reporting from UN Secretary-General António Guterres last week. He said Afghanistan is now “hanging by a thread.”
Last week, the UN also warned that at least 55 percent of the Afghan population, amounting to around 23 million people, are experiencing “extreme levels of hunger.” It was also reported that the country’s remaining foreign aid workers and medical personnel estimate that dozens of children under age five are starving to death every week.