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Kabul orphanage struggles as aid

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Afghanistan: There are about 130 children above the age of three in the orphanage.

Kabul:

Ahmed Khalil Moy, the program director of a large orphanage in Kabul, says he is cutting the amount of fruit and meat given to children every week because the household is running out of money.

For the past two months, since the Afghan Taliban took control of the country and millions of dollars in aid suddenly ended, he has been desperately calling and emailing donors, both foreign and local, who have previously supported him. did.

“Unfortunately, most of them have left the country – Afghan donors, foreign donors, embassies. When I call them or email them, no one is answering me,” Muay, 40, told Reuters. Told in the north at Vishal Shamsa Children’s Village. Capital.

“We are now trying to run this place with very little money and less food,” he said.

There are about 130 children above the age of three in the orphanage. It has been in operation for over a decade, and provides shelter for those who have lost both parents or just one who cannot afford to keep them.

Among them is nine-year-old Samira from northeastern Badakhshan province, who has been in an orphanage for nearly two years after her father’s death and her mother did not have the means to support her brothers.

She plays as intensely as she reads at the playground outside on a cold day in Kabul, smiling widely as she heads up on the swing. Despite her young age, she is already taking extra classes and wants to become a doctor when she grows up.

“I want to serve my motherland and save others from illness, and I want to teach other girls too so that they can become a doctor like me in the future,” she told Reuters with a sly grin.

Such orphanages play a big role in Afghanistan, where thousands of civilians have been killed in wars that have ravaged the country for more than 40 years.

A paucity of funds affecting charities, non-governmental organizations and ordinary Afghans is forcing the Maya into tough choices since the radical Islamist Taliban movement took back control of the country.

The orphanage tried to send some of the children back to relatives who were comparatively well-endowed, but they came back one by one.

Maya said the staff had to reduce the portion of food and limit the types of food the children could eat.

“Earlier we were providing them with fruits twice a week and meat twice a week, but we cut those items to just once a week or maybe (not even that much).”

cash crunch

Faced with an economic crisis as winter approaches, Taliban officials have urged Western governments to resume aid donations and a freeze on more than $9 billion of Afghan central bank reserves held abroad from the United States. called upon to set up.

Many countries have refused to recognize the Taliban, a jihadist insurgency fighting foreign troops and their Afghan allies until recently.

Some governments are demanding that the group guarantee basic civil liberties, including allowing girls to go to secondary school and women to work.

The Taliban, which banned girls’ education when they ruled from 1996-2001, have said they are working on the issue.

Compounding the orphanage’s problems is a weekly limit of $200 on bank withdrawals to avoid a run on hard currency, which means access to funds is not enough to support children and staff.

Maya is afraid that if this situation continues, the orphanage will not be able to run for long.

This would be disastrous for children who receive physical education along with math, English and computers, not to mention food and shelter.

An aspiring doctor, Sameera is still able to go to school outside the orphanage premises because of her age, and she attends extra-tuition classes in the afternoon to get ahead.

Difficulty has not affected her ambition, but she also believes that she may have to go abroad for studies to achieve her goals.

“I’m not allowed to read here.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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