(TheRedWire.com) – Afghans are struggling to survive in drought-stricken and war-torn western Afghanistan. After the Taliban took over the country in the wake of the US withdrawal, the US government blocked the extremist group’s access to trillions of dollars in reserves. Conditions are so terrible that parents are going to extremes to provide for themselves and their families. On Monday, October 25, the World Food Program issued a warning that 22.8 million Afghans would face a severe food crisis in November.
Mohammad Assan wiped back his tears as he showed photos of his girls, Siana, nine, and Edi Gul, six, now living far away with their young grooms.
“We've never seen them since,” he said. “We didn't want to do that, but we had to feed our other children.”https://t.co/YPHn7BriuR
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) October 26, 2021
Things are so bad that an Afghan man sold his daughters into marriage. The father added that he didn’t want to do it, but didn’t feel that he had a choice if the rest of his family were going to eat. Arranged child marriage is a centuries-long tradition in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, war and famine are forcing families to do the unthinkable. Struggling farmers are striking deals for cash now by selling their daughters at very young ages to purchase food. In one case, a family sold an infant to survive.
Here’s how child marriage works: A daughter’s parent agrees to accept installment payments over time from parents of future husbands, who are also minors. The arranged couple will marry at an agreed-upon age, and the daughter will break away from her family.
Things are so desperate for some parents, they are selling their daughters as young as eighteen-months old. For older girls, parents can fetch as much as $3,350 per child. For toddlers, the going rate is $2,800. The younger the girl, the greater the bargain for a boys’ parents, and the longer they can stretch out the payments.
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