Thu, 20 Jan 2022

© Provided by Xinhua

"America has blocked Afghanistan assets and the brutal action has led to poverty," an Afghan boy said. "Today, children like me can't go to school due to extreme poverty. We have to work on streets to survive."

KABUL, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- "Many of those killed in Afghanistan during the American war were fathers. Today, children like me can't go to school due to extreme poverty. We have to work on streets to survive," Padshah, 12, told Xinhua.

Padshah's family are from the northern province of Baghlan province and moved to Kabul three months ago in search of a better living. Working on the streets, Padshah never earns as much as a dollar a day.

© Provided by Xinhua

"NOTHING BUT A BULLY"

He walks the city from dawn to dusk and beyond every day, but there is no money to be made. There is no money to be begged, borrowed, or even stolen. Twenty years of sanctions and meaningless war have destroyed the economy completely. No one has enough money to think about supporting other people's families. It is hard enough to take care of your own.

"America has blocked Afghanistan assets and the brutal action has led to poverty and that is why many people including my father have lost their jobs," Padshah told Xinhua. The boy was a good student when his father worked in an office and had a regular income.

© Provided by Xinhua

Following the U.S. military defeat in Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover, Washington reportedly has frozen more than 9 billion U.S. dollars of Afghanistan's assets. The sanctions have undermined banking in Afghanistan and people began withdrawing their money. There are many restrictions on withdrawing money as banks struggle to avoid going under.

The new administration, the Taliban-led Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, has not yet paid regular salaries to government employees since it took power on Sept. 7. To survive, Kabul residents have resorted to selling home appliances on roadsides but customers are few and far between. No one has any money to spend.

The impact of Washington's sanctions is brutal. The national currency, the afghani, is tumbling against the U.S. dollar every day and is basically worthless. The prices of basic items have gone through the roof, and even university professors have to find extra jobs to make ends meet the increasing poverty.

© Provided by Xinhua

"CHILDREN HAVE NO FUTURE"

Echoing similar sentiment, an Afghan wood seller and father of five, Mir Ahmad has been forced to take his son out of school and put him to work in his shop. "The U.S. sanctions and poverty has forced me to take my 13-year-old son out of school to sell firewood," said Ahmad. "If I allow my son to go to school then I have to pay at least 500 afghanis daily for someone to help me in the shop, which is impossible."

Denouncing the U.S. over freezing Afghanistan's assets, the aged wood seller Ahmad said angrily, "Blocking Afghanistan's assets is a kind of bullying that has squeezed ordinary people like me that forced me to stop my son from going to school."

His son Jan Mohammad, a schoolboy no longer, is more sanguine than his father: "Poverty has made me give up school to help my father. For now, I have given up my dream of being a civil engineer. It is a tough job in the woodshop, but I have no choice. I have to think of my family."

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