The article “If we die, we will die together,” in highlights one of several thousand stories occurring in Afghanistan today.  The sky rocketing prices of wheat and rice and the food shortage crisis is forcing families to sell their children so that they can make their ends meet.

Mother’s plea to husband who sold daughters for food and water  

“If we die, we will die together.”

These were the words a Kabul mother used to beg her husband to buy back her two children who he sold to buy food for his starving family.

The mother of six told that her husband sold her two daughters, aged four and two, because he could not afford to buy drinking water for his family.

“My husband said, ‘I’m going to sell these children to provide food for our other children’. But I said, ‘if we die we will die together’ I can’t stand to see my children with another family.”

The husband agreed to buy back her two young daughters after she screamed at him for days.

One of the girls’ brothers said: “When my father took my sisters off to sell them I was crying but I know my father did this because he had to.”

One of the sisters said: “We don’t have money to buy food: that is why my father sold my two sisters.”

The husband said Kabul council had bulldozed their previous home and failed to provide his family with a new home, depsite numerous promises.

The family now lives in the capital’s Kai Khana area, where they rent a house close to the Presidential Palace.

Over the last month, the cost of bread has doubled in some parts of the country. America warned last week that the rising cost of wheat, the lack of rain and export bans on flour to Afghanistan will likely increase the risk of serious food shortages in the country.

The US government’s development agency, USAID, also predicts a below-average wheat harvest next month because crops have had about 50-90% less water than last year.

Provinces such as Ghor, Badghis, Daykundi, Badakhshan, Faryab, Urzgan, Zabul, Wardak, and Logar are most at risk from food shortages, the agency said.

The hike in the cost of wheat is most pronounced in Faizabad, Badakhshan, where prices are 157% higher than the five year average, Mazar-e-Sharif (151% above average), and Herat (13% above average). Since January, the cost of bread in Kabul has risen from Afg6 to Afg20 in some parts of the city.