Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Poverty Climbs to Threatening 54% in Afghanistan

It is not only insecurity that is threatening Afghanistan. There are many other major issues that remain neglected, and among them poverty is the most prominent one. Though Afghanistan has been receiving billions of dollars in aid, the poverty rate in Afghanistan seems to have inclined, instead of declining, which raises some very serious questions about the utilization of the aid money and also the loyalty and determinations of the responsible authorities in Afghanistan.
A survey conducted by Central Statistics Organization (CSO) recently disclosed that the country’s poverty ratio is around 54%, which shows a 21 percent upsurge since the ratio recorded ten years earlier. These figures are really disheartening, and they raise doubts about the overall transition to democracy and development. This is the era wherein the country had to improve as far as the basic issues are concerned; however, discouraging observations make the common people think that they have to wait for decades as far real development is concerned.
It has to be realized that poverty is a threat for our society. It is responsible for myriads of social evils and disturbances. It is a quagmire that not only grasps the society from its legs but also clasps an individual from his throat. A poor person does not only suffer from aching of starvation but also from the discriminating behavior of the society.
All a poor person goes through during destitution is the agony of poverty. In that agony, there is hunger, disease, grief and lengthy days and nights. Hunger is the worst of them. And then a country suffering from poverty tends to have more social problems, just like our country Afghanistan. Corruption, theft, drug addiction and even terrorism, in some or other, are connected to poverty. There are thieves who steal in order to feed their families who are suffering from starvation. There are youngsters, who having found no job and having no sources of income join terrorists who promise them some money. There are many others of the youngsters who have become suicide bombers and can be bought for some hundreds of dollars. And then there are the ones who have given up struggling against the cruel poverty and opted for drugs – at least addiction minimizes their pain and make them more forgetful of their miserable lives. 
However, these facts are never pondered upon. Corruption, theft and drug addiction are now being related to ‘Criminal Genes’ and ‘Filthy Blood’. It is said that thieves, addicts and terrorists are so because of their nature. However, the actual fact is being covered. The social circumstances and the irresponsible human attitude that are basically responsible for most of the poverty are not being discussed.
It can be easily observed that there are many people in our society who work from dawn till dusk, with all the energies they have and still they are poor and their families do not have rudimentary requirements of life and then there are few others who are born in rich families, do nothing and still have all the luxuries of life. This is not even fortune or luck; it is the socio-economic set up that has made such a tragic reality possible. It is supporting the rich to become richer and pushing the poor deeper in the abyss of destitution.
We, human beings, require changing our perceptions. It is weird how we are not able to see the suffering of the millions whom we experience every day, but we are able to focus our attentions towards the things that are less important and more destructive. We are ready to exert our energy for weapons, wars and ways of annihilating others but never concentrate on how we can help a poor person who is living from hand to mouth in our immediate neighborhood. This is, in fact, the biggest injustice that we are doing to our own specie. Dwight D. Eisenhower beautifully clarifies this fact, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, and the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
Our country Afghanistan also requires fighting the menace of poverty seriously as more than half the population now lives below the poverty line. All the other fights relating to insecurity, terrorism, corruption and crimes must be dealt as secondary and all the efforts must be diverted for slaying the giant of poverty; otherwise, all the efforts would end up in smoke and the giant of poverty would stand victorious over the corpses of the poor!