Afghanistan’s Taliban government on Sunday launched a program to combat hunger, offering thousands of people wheat in exchange for labour.
The Taliban’s chief spokesman said at a news conference in southern Kabul that the plan would be launched around major towns and cities in Afghanistan and would provide employment to 40,000 people in the capital alone.
“This is an important step to fight unemployment,” Zabihullah Mujahid said. Workers must “work hard” to add up.
Afghanistan – already suffering from poverty, drought, power blackouts and a failing economic system – is now facing the onset of a harsh winter.
The Taliban’s work-for-food scheme will not pay workers who are currently unemployed and most at risk of starvation during the winter.
In the two-month program, 11,600 tonnes of wheat will be distributed in the capital, with about 55,000 tonnes of wheat to other places in the country including Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Pol-e-Khomri.
Work for the workers in Kabul will include digging water channels for snow and catchment terraces in the hills to cope with the drought.
Mujahid and other senior officials, including Agriculture Minister Abdul Rahman Rashid and Kabul Mayor Hamdulla Nomani, cut a pink ribbon and dug a small ditch at a ceremony in the capital’s rural Rish Khor area to launch the programme.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)