An Afghan father desperate to save his family from starvation following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan said he was prepared to sell his four-year-old daughter so the rest of his family of seven could afford basic necessities.
Mir Nazir, a former police officer in Kabul, told The Times of London he was negotiating to pawn his youngest child after the country’s economy collapsed with the Taliban takeover. He noted that a pawnbroker was offering around $235 for his daughter, Safia, but said he was holding out to sell her to a shop owner for around $580.
“I would prefer to die than be reduced to selling my daughter,” the 38-year-old father told the U.K. outlet. “But my own death wouldn’t save anyone in my family. Who would feed my other children? This isn’t about choice. It’s about desperation.”
“We are still discussing,” he said about his negotiations with the shop owner, who offered to buy his daughter so she could live with him and start working in his shop, according to The Times. “She may have a better future working in a shop than staying with me, and the price may save my family.” (RELATED: Taliban Asks Women To Stay Home Because Their Fighters ‘Have Not Been Yet Trained’ To Respect Them)
Nazir said he lost his job with the police in the city of Ghazi and fled to Kabul with his wife and five children just days before the Taliban captured the capital. Afghanistan’s economy could now be facing an all-out collapse after the formation of a new Taliban government led foreign donors and investors to pull billions from the country.
The Afghan economy, already sick before the victory of the Taliban has been kicked off a ledge.
The World Bank has halted aid to Afghanistan. The IMF has blocked access to $460 million in emergency reserves, and the US has blocked about $7 billion in Afghan bank reserves. pic.twitter.com/cHwn5EbXZ8
— The Times (@thetimes) September 9, 2021
The International Monetary Fund on Aug. 18 suspended the country’s access to its resources, including $460 million in emergency reserves, Reuters reported. The World Bank halted aid to Afghanistan one week later due to concerns about “development prospects, especially for women,” the BBC reported.
The U.S. also froze billions of dollars in assets from accounts held in Afghanistan’s central bank, a Biden administration official told Axios. The move could prevent the Taliban from accessing an estimated $9.4 billion in international reserves.
Nazir and millions of other Afghans are likely to face the repercussions of an impending economic collapse, according to The Times. He told the outlet that selling his daughter might be the only option left to ensure his family survives.
“Don’t think I am any different to you,” he said. “Don’t think I didn’t love the baby child I brought into the world and have loved her ever since, don’t think I am not distraught at the thought of selling my daughter — I just can’t see what else I can do.”