A dozen Afghan people are running, one woman is holding the hand of a child.

People try to get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021 Stringer/REUTERS

  • An Afghan father trying to provide food for his family sold his kid daughter to a 55-year-old man.

  • Parwana Malik sold for $2,200, according to CNN.

  • A few ago, Abdul Malik sold his 12-year-old daughter, also to make ends meet.

An Afghan father said he sold his 9-year-old daughter, Parwana Malik, to a man for $2,200 to be able to afford food for his wife and other kids, CNN reported.

The family has lived in a northwest province of Afghanistan for years, struggling to pay for basic needs like food. Together, they earn just a few dollars a day, according to CNN. A few months ago, Parwana’s father sold her 12-year-old sister to make ends meet.

The family was forced this time around to sell another child, once again to put food on the table. Parwana’s parents sold her to a 55-year-old for $2,200, according to CNN.

Parwana’s father, Abdul, is “broken,” CNN reported. He and his wife tried to borrow money from relatives and beg on the streets but could not come up with enough. “We are eight family members,” he told CNN. “I have to sell to keep other family members alive.”

Last month, a woman named Saleha said she sold her 3-year-old daughter for $550 because, like the Maliks, she didn’t have enough money to sustain herself. When Insider readers heard of Saleha’s story, dozens offered to pay off her debt.

Afghanistan is heading toward “universal poverty” following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country, according to a projection from a United Nations’ development agency.

Within a year, the poverty rate in Afghanistan will hover at a whopping 97% or 98%, said Kanni Wignaraja, UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Director.

“Afghanistan pretty much faces universal poverty by the middle of next year,” Wignaraja said. “That’s where we’re heading – it’s 97-98% no matter how you work these projections.”

The Taliban took over Afghanistan following President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops from the region after two decades spent trying to rid the country of extremists. In its takeover, the Taliban renamed the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, reverting back to the same name used during the last time the regime held power, in 1996. The regime remained in power until 2001, after the US invaded Afghanistan.

After the US ousted the Taliban from power in 2001, Afghanistan made several developmental gains including the doubling of per capita income and an increase in the average number of years of education, Wignaraja said.

Over the past two decades, Afghanistan made significant economic gains that are now in danger of collapsing because of political instability. Afghanistan faces “a crush on local banking” because of the Taliban takeover, Wignaraja said. That instability is only worsened by the pandemic.

The Biden administration, in an effort to limit the Taliban’s resources, froze nearly $10 billion in reserves in the country’s central bank most of which is reportedly held by the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The move has been criticized as misdirected and will ultimately hurt Afghans more than the Taliban, Shah Mehrabi, a senior board member of Da Afghanistan Bank, told Bloomberg.

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