AFGHANISTAN. Herat: Herat, one of the major provinces of Afghanistan is home to many displaced families from neighboring provinces. Families who suffer from hunger and diseases get settled in Herat to find a better shelter. Recently, around five children of displaced families fell sick after eating leaves. Families told Tolo News that their children ate leaves as they had no food to survive.
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Gholam Farouq, one of the displaced people said that five children including three of his own were poisoned after eating the leaves of a tree. According to him, the children were later hospitalized. With eight children and a pregnant wife, he left his house in the Qadis district of Badghis, to settle in Herat four months ago due to the war. “My children became sick and had to be hospitalized.”
Talking to Transcontinental Times, another member belonging to a displaced family said, “Since coming to Herat in the cold weather and coronavirus crisis, I am struggling where to find work to buy medicine for my family. I can’t even go back to my district where we can’t sleep at night for the clashes between the government and Taliban.”
”Some nights in these winter long nights, my children sleep with an empty stomach.” I got home at night and I saw no food. Then I ate leaves and fell ill afterward, ” Hesanullah said.
“My children came home and asked for food. I told them we have no food. They went and ate leaves.”
Starving people eating leaves to survive
Dr. Barez, a doctor at Herat hospital told Transcontinental Times, “I have witnessed a lot during my work for Herat hospital that many patients were denying that their children may have eaten leaves due to hunger. It is not a new thing.”
Talking to Transcontinental Times, Abdul Aziz Sheik Ul Islami, representative of internally displaced people said, “Some displaced families even sold their children. They have not been given any portion of the government national meal plan, nor in the Corona budget which was dedicated to poor families.”
Reduction in aids
Herat local officials said that this year only some families were supported due to the reduction in aids. Ahmad Jawid Nadem, director of Refugees and Returnees Affairs said, ” We didn’t receive any humanitarian aids.”
According to official statistics, more than 8,000 displaced families flooded to Herat due to war and poverty in the past year. In the past years, more than one million internally displaced families came from other neighborhood districts and provinces. Most of these provinces are covered in snow now.