A drought has sent families into desperate times.
A mother resorted to selling her 6-year-old daughter to feed the rest of her family, CNN is reporting. The United Nations has determined that the drought currently plaguing Afghanistan has resulted in more families being forced out of their homes in 2018 than the violence that’s prevalent in the country has. The UN believes that more than 275,000 people have been displaced by the dry weather. Now, a widow named Mamareen is sharing her testimony from a refugee camp. She told her story to a reporter about how she had to sell her daughter, Akila. Akila was exchanged for $3,000 and is now in the care of a man named Najmuddin, who intends to have Akila eventually marry his 10-year-old son, Sher Agha.
“I fled my village with my three children because of severe drought,” she said.
“I came here thinking that I will receive some assistance, but I got nothing. To avoid starvation among my children, I gave my daughter to a man for about $3,000, but have only got $70 so far. I had no money, no food and no breadwinner — my husband was also killed.”
While some may not be able to comprehend this act as anything but cold and cruel, Mamareen spoke warmly of her daughter and appears to be aware of the severity of the sacrifice.
“She doesn’t know that I have sold her,” she explained.
“How would she know? She is a child. But I had no other choice. Whether in tears or laughter, she will have to go. Who would sell a piece of her heart unless they really have to?”
Akila has now transferred to a higher quality refugee camp with Najmuddin, who claims he will pay off his debt within two to three years. He regards his purchase as an act of charity. Unfortunately, this story plays out often in these dire conditions. Another refugee who refused to be identified recounted selling his daughter, who was only 4-years-old.
“I had no other choice, I had no money and no source of income,” the anonymous person said.
“The man came here and gave me two options: either to pay back his money or to give him my daughter. I went with the latter.”
The current weather in Afghanistan is breaking records for the country, with the approximately four-year drought destroying their agriculture and causing opium crops to fall for three years in a row. Many have speculated that global climate change could be playing a part in these unfortunate circumstances.
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