Desperate Afghan parents are reportedly selling their newborns to feed their other children, amid a humanitarian crisis in the nation, where more than nine million people have been pushed into acute food poverty since the Taliban took power.

Living circumstances in Afghanistan have deteriorated so quickly in the two months since the takeover that there are fears it may already be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

New parents have said that they have sold their kids in order to feed their other children.

A couple who sold their newborn child for £400 would get the family ‘through a few months,’ according to the poor. The baby will remain with them until she is able to walk, after which she will be taken by the man who purchased her. According to BBC News, she was told that when she is older, she will marry his child.

According to the father, who used to gather trash but is now unable to earn any money, ‘We are starving. Right now we have no flour, no oil at home. We have nothing.

‘My daughter doesn’t know what her future will be. I don’t know how she’ll feel about it. But I had to do it.’

More than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million people, 22.8 million people, are facing acute food insecurity and are “marching to hunger," according to the UN’s World Food Programme.

In August, when Ashraf Ghani’s western-backed government was still in power, the figure was 14 million. 

The food programme’s executive director David Beasley said: ‘Children are going to die. People are going to starve. Things are going to get a lot worse.

‘I don’t know how you don’t have millions of people, and especially children, dying at the rate we are going with the lack of funding and the collapsing of the economy.’

A million Afghan children are at risk of starving to death.

The food agency needs up to £161 million a month to partially feed Afghanistan’s near 23 million vulnerable people as winter nears. Concerns over human rights under the Taliban have prompted aid organizations to urge countries to engage with the new leadership in order to avoid a collapse that may trigger a migrant catastrophe comparable to the 2015 exodus from Syria that shocked Europe.

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