The scenes of despair and chaos amid humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

By and

It is estimated that around half the population of Afghanistan is facing famine this winter as the humanitarian crisis in the country, described by the UN as one of the worst worldwide, continues to develop following the return to power of the Taliban and subsequent international sanctions. Rachida El Azzouzi and Mortaza Behboudi report from the north-west city of Herat, where some families have sold daughters to buy food. There, they witnessed, and filmed, a stampede by desperate refugees, mostly mothers seeking vital aid kits from the overwhelmed Taliban.

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Coming away from the crowd looking as if she had been in a combat, her hijab ripped, with scratch marks on her face, a mother cried out in distress. “We have nothing to eat,” she said. “I had to sell my daughter for 30,000 afghanis [about 250 euros].” Others behind her were still caught in the scrum. Enveloped in blue burkas or black niqabs, several among them stumbled, or fainted. Some were trampled upon. Children were crying. Some men present got into scuffles.