Millions In Afghanistan Affected By Poverty, Seeking Work On Streets


(MENAFN- Khaama Press) Written By: Tabasum Nasiry

Poverty is a destructive phenomenon that has affected millions of people in Afghanistan under current living conditions. It has led many individuals, including elderly people like Saifullah, to seek work in the streets of Kabul and other provinces.

Saifullah, a 65-year-old laborer in Kabul, struggles to provide for his family of six with insufficient wages and faces the hardships of working on Kabul's roads.

Saifullah, the elderly 65-year-old man, considers his worn-out hands from laboring in Karachi as his only capital. He wanders the streets of Kabul from morning till evening, striving to find a piece of bread for his children.

According to Saifullah, he earns between 50 to 100 Afghanis daily, often returning home empty-handed, spending nights hungry or with just bread and tea.

He finds unemployment, poverty, and being penniless agonizing and can barely endure days when he returns home empty-handed.

He remarks,“I can only buy bread with my earnings while people pass by with hands full of fruits, flour, and oil, leaving me astonished with empty hands.”

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) reported an increase in the scope of poverty and food insecurity in Afghanistan in its annual report for 2023. According to this report, 15.8 million people in Afghanistan, approximately 40 percent of the population, experienced acute food insecurity from November 2023 to March 2024, with 2.8 million of them facing emergency levels of food insecurity.

Alongside Saifullah, another elderly man named Mullah Mohammad sits by the roadside, with no solution other than seeking work and income, as he claims.


Image/Khaama Press.

Mullah Mohammad says that despite poverty and old age making him incapable, he is the sole breadwinner and caretaker of his family of ten.

According to this 60-year-old man, he is currently living in a rented house, with several months' worth of rent still due.

He adds,“I am not at the age to work now; I have become very weak and feeble, but if conditions for work improve, I want to work to get out of this situation.”

Mullah Mohammad says he can barely afford to provide for himself for one meal a day and has spent many nights without bread.

It's not just Saifullah and Mullah Mohammad who work alongside the roads in Kabul; there are dozens of other elderly men who, despite lacking the ability to work, are seeking livelihoods.


Image/Khaama Press,

It should be noted that the United Nations report also indicates an increase in poverty and unemployment in the country, revealing that out of every 10 households in Afghanistan, 9 households face difficulties in providing sufficient food.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, Afghanistan's situation last year was characterized by severe humanitarian crises, accompanied by economic downturns, climatic adversities, political complexities, increased returning migrants, and internal displacements, along with political instability and constraints on women. These factors have contributed to the escalation of poverty and food insecurity.

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