The NGO Save The Children has warned that a year after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, a large proportion of Afghan girls are showing signs of depression or are frustrated at not being able to go to school.

The organization points this out in the Breaking Point report, detailing that 97 percent of families struggle to feed their sons and daughters adequately, and that girls eat less than boys.

“Almost 80 percent of boys and girls report going to bed hungry in the past 30 days, although girls suffer the most from this situation, going to bed without food almost twice as often as boys, which is enough,” said Save The Children in a statement.

According to the NGO, the lack of food caused by food shortages in the country is having “devastating” consequences for children’s health while threatening their future.

Nine out of ten girls in Afghanistan say their meals have decreased over the past year, and they worry they are losing weight and lacking the energy to study, play or work.

The crisis is also having an impact on girls’ mental and psychosocial well-being. According to various interviews Save The Children conducted with adult loved ones, 26 percent of girls show signs of depression, compared to 16 percent of boys. In addition, 27 percent of girls show signs of anxiety. children, 18 percent.

“The girls interviewed by Save the Children say they sleep poorly at night because of worry and nightmares. They also say they have been excluded from many activities that used to make them happy, such as spending time with family and friends and going to parks and shops,” the NGO assured.

After the Taliban took power in August 2021, thousands of high school girls were ordered to stay home, undoing years of gains in gender equality, a source of disappointment and anger among girls who feel hopeless about their future.

In this sense, more than 45 percent of girls regret not going to school, compared to 20 percent of boys. They cite economic challenges, the Taliban’s ban on girls from secondary school, and community attitudes as the “main barriers” to girls’ access to education.

The Taliban took power on August 15 after international forces withdrew last year. Billions of dollars in international aid were withdrawn, Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves were frozen and the banking system collapsed. The ensuing economic crisis and the country’s worst drought in 30 years have plunged households into poverty.

The children surveyed by Save the Children say the economic situation, which leaves households without enough money to eat and basic needs, is leading to an increase in child marriages in their communities, affecting more girls than boys.

Save the Children Afghanistan Director Chris Nyamandi, Director, has explained the gravity of the current situation: “Life is horrible for the boys and girls here, a year after the Taliban took control, they fall asleep night after night Hunger. They are exhausted and atrophied, unable to play and study as they used to. They spend their days toiling in brick factories, picking up rubbish and cleaning houses instead of going to school.”

Save the Children asserted that the solution could not only be found in Afghanistan, but that “the involvement of the international community was essential”. The organization warns that unless “immediate” humanitarian funds are provided and a way is found to reactivate the banking system and support the economy, children will lose their childhood and even die.

Source europapress.es

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