‘Most of our friends didn’t make it to their 18th birthdays.’
Many of these gang members are under 24. Some are children as young as 11.
With few work or educational opportunities, many gang members say they have turned to the armed groups as a way of earning quick cash or gaining power. Some even say they are doing what the government has failed to do – taking care of its population.
ON AFGHANISTAN, ON DEVELOPMENT | Afghanistan: ‘38 million people are suffering because a few hundred are in power’
A year after the Taliban took power, humanitarian needs are rising even as foreign aid has dried up.
During the former Islamic Republic, foreign aid grants funded 75 percent of public spending. Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the United States has provided $775 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, but the UN says at least $4.4 billion is needed to address the emergency needs of more than 24 million Afghans – 60 percent of the population.