KABUL: The unemployment crisis under the Taliban has seen thousands of men and women resort to begging in the streets or at their neighbors’ doors for the past year.
Masoma, 45, an Afghan woman with two children, aged 4 and 6, roams city streets every day to attract attention and provoke compassion from people to receive alms.
Taliban rule has forced her to beg over the past six months in one of the northern cities of Afghanistan. When her husband died two years ago in a traffic accident, she had the support of her brothers during the republican regime. Following the collapse, her brothers’ financial state could not support her anymore.
Masoma has no choice but to beg to prevent her family from starving to death. Many of her friends have turned to seek charities as well.
This comes as beggars in Kabul city are increasing at an unprecedented rate – something that has gravely concerned citizens.
It’s said that the Taliban are about to begin a program to collect beggars in Kabul city and determine their wages to reduce the beggar population. The process of gathering and identifying these people will soon begin, per the Taliban supreme leader’s directive.
Masoma welcomes the Taliban’s program; however, the country’s shaky economy paints a bleak picture of whether the program will be executed properly and systematically.
This is while in this one year after the Taliban takeover, life has become increasingly difficult for Afghans as even obtaining daily food has become a concern for more than 90% of the country’s citizens.