Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, June 24th, 2019

Providing Food to All

Afghanistan is a country that has experienced years of insecurity and instability; therefore, the country has not been able to strengthen its basic infrastructure that can help the people in acquiring their most rudimentary requirements. It is the reason that even food is scarce in the country, and there are thousands of people who have no access to sufficient meal every day.
According to food security assessment, about 1.6 million people are the victim of severe food insecurity, while about 7.5 million are moderate food insecure; therefore, many people are compelled to sell land, discontinue the education of their children and make them work, or depend on relatives for support. Unfortunately, number of people engaged in these last-ditch actions has increased because of unavoidable circumstances. As a matter of fact, one third of the Afghan population is food-insecure and their situation continues to worsen; however, there is no strategy to tackle the problem and solve this crucial issue. The whole government apparatus seems to be busy with the security concerns, while the most basic requirements that can result in larger catastrophes than the prevailing insecurity, remain forgotten. On the other hand, the country, does not have any mechanism of its own that can help it in difficult times and, even, it has not been able to strengthen its agriculture sector.
In fact, the agricultural sector in Afghanistan has not been able to fulfill the requirements of the people as it has not been given proper attention by the concerned authorities. Mostly, this sector is highly dependent on the individual farmers and landowners. Most of them grow as much as they require themselves. Further, the growth of narcotics in the country leaves little room for the lands to be used for the cultivation of other necessary items that can fulfill the food requirement of the people. The government does not have any comprehensive strategy regarding the development of the agricultural sector on the basis of modern techniques.
Therefore a large number of people, each year, have to look at the other countries for help in order to have food to eat. The international organizations in this regard have been fulfilling the food requirements of the country to a large extent, thus making the burden of the government much lighter. But this sort of help can never be permanent and it has already been facing difficulties as the donor countries that have been sponsoring such programs have decreased their contributions to a certain extent.
The food shortage itself is a sure problem, but there are many other problems that are directly linked with the hunger that result from such shortages. Many social evils will find their way in the society and will further deteriorate the country’s socio-political scenario. More people would be involved in crimes in order to feed themselves and their families. Two major problems in the country have been greatly strengthened by the continuous hunger and poverty. The first one that has been threatening the whole world is the growing terrorism in the region. The people suffering from hunger and poverty are very much likely to become part of terrorist organizations that are ready to provide them their living.
Who does not know that the suicide bombers are easily available for some hundred dollars throughout the region? The second problem that has made the country much notorious like terrorism is the production and trafficking of narcotics. Afghanistan is considered one of the leading countries in this regard. And now the phenomenon has become a part of organized crime in the country, with the involvement of national and international mafia. The poor and hungry people of the country are ready to become a part of this menace instead of suffering because of intense deprivation. They either become a part of its production or trafficking as they are paid handsomely in this regard. Further, the demand of the narcotics also makes many people think of using their lands for poppy cultivation rather than deciding to grow the crops that can yield food for the people.
The important question at this instance is how long can we rely on international organizations and community to feed us and amend us? We can be self-reliant in so many areas; all we need is to throw away the begging bowl and use our own resources appropriately and, no doubt, honestly. Had we been doing that for the last few years, we would now be standing on our own. But unfortunately, the self-centered people among us who have just been filling their own pockets have made our people suffer to a great extent. They do not feel even for those people who do not have a single meal to eat throughout a week. Their children die of hunger and unknown diseases and their conscience saunter in the dark alleys of guilt, frustration and revenge.