Kabul, Taliban, Helmand discussed on Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

He messaged me last night and he wrote, I am embarrassed to say this, but it is true that I am nearly starving. A high typical is this. I mean, this is this is an educated middle class man who was in Kabul. This isn't a farmer in a drought stricken province. What are you hearing from friends and contacts in Kabul? Yeah, and I think this is what's been most devastating when I was in Kabul just a few weeks ago. I mean, you see very educated middle class families. And we mustn't forget that in the last 20 years, 60% of the population have moved into urban areas. Most people rely on bank accounts and salaries to survive. This is no longer a society that's relying on food security from farmland. The salaries don't exist. I mean, I spoke to health workers, female health workers, and the one thing that the Taliban has done is allowed female health workers to continue to operate and function in the hospitals and the health facilities. I spoke to one woman in a Kabul hospital who told me I live on top of a mountain. It's now winter and it's cold. It's freezing cold. So I slide down the bottom to the bottom of the mountain because of the snow. When I get down to the bottom, injured because she tumbles over several times. She can not afford 11 cents to get the bus to work. When she gets to work, she says to me that she used to be fed at work, but she says, now they can't even feed us out our lunch. And I said to her, why do you continue to come? It's been three and a half months, four months that you continue to come to the workplace. And she said, if I don't come, these children that are suffering from malnutrition will die, the ventilators will stop. The hospital will be dirty and if we don't continue to clean it, the children will die. And just to give you a sense, the hospital beds they were about 35 hospital beds in some of these hospitals in Kabul in Kandahar and Helmand. Children as many as 75 or 80 are in those hospitals. I saw mothers sleeping on the beds of the hospitals and on the floors because they were at capacity. So this idea that 97% of the population now are below the poverty line or 23 24 million people are suffering from famine. It is evident right across the board. You see hungry people, not just suffering from malnutrition in hospitals, but on the streets. I mean, I was shocked, I've been reporting from their country for 15 years. And I haven't seen the scale of hunger and poverty, which was so evident right from the youngest of victims right through to the oldest of people, the most vulnerable of people. Everywhere, right across the board, people were suffering. It's a grim picture. Thank you very much indeed for talking to us about it today. Well, it's still to come, we're going to be meeting Pakistani disability activists whose championing women and girls and working to change attitudes and lives. Akron has been named one of the BBC's women in 2021. Now we've been talking two women about their scars in a Miller went to meet Laura, whose 29 she's a care worker from South Wales, and she's a bone survivor..

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