'My Children Need Food': Kabul Streets Turn Into Flea Market as Afghans Struggle Amid Economic Collapse

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The Taliban capture of Afghanistan has pushed many citizens into acute poverty and unemployment. The ongoing tussle coupled with an economic crisis has forced many afghans to take to the streets to sell their valuables in exchange for some cash to make ends meet.

According to a report in Tolo News, the Afghans who were earlier employed in the government or private sector were rendered jobless overnight and were left with no choice but to sell their belongings at cheap rates only to bring food to the table.

Talking to Tolo News, Laal Gul, a shopkeeper in Kabul expressed her agony while selling her refrigerator at half its original price. “I sold my items for less than half their value. I bought a refrigerator for 25,000 afghanis and sold it for 5,000. What am I to do? My children need food at night.”

From refrigerators, television sets, sofas, cupboards to every other household furniture, Kabul streets were seen lined up with homecare appliances. In a desperate need to survive, Afghans were seen selling everything to find enough money to get food or arrange resources to escape the crumbling nation. Some were even seen selling off goods worth 100,000 afghanis for as little as 20,000.

A former police officer in Kabul, Mohammad Agha, has been working at the same market for the past 10 days. He told Tolo News, “They did not pay me my salary. Now, I do not have a job. What am I to do?”

N chief Antonio Guterres called on Monday for the international community to engage with the Taliban to avert a total collapse of Afghanistan‘s economy.

“It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities,” Guterres told journalists on the sidelines of a donor conference, adding it was “very important to engage with the Taliban at the present moment”.

The UN chief on Monday urged countries to dig deep and provide desperately needed aid to Afghans, and to support women and others whose rights appear threatened by the Taliban.

Speaking to ministers gathered for a donor conference for the violence-torn country, Guterres insisted that “the people of Afghanistan need a lifeline”.

“After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour,” he said at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva.

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