Rows of huts competed urgently. Plastic roofs peek into dusty spaces. The innovative tents fit neatly into the nooks and crannies of narrow streets.
Millions of displaced and impoverished people in Afghanistan have found safe haven in the lands around larger cities, which over time have developed into slum-like slums.
Today, these crowded spaces are home to entire communities displaced from their homes by decades of conflict, disaster, and political instability.
It is also here that one can meet those hardest hit by the sudden economic fallout after the war ended in Afghanistan – the highest price most Afghans pay for peace. .
The world was unprepared for the lightning-quick takeover of Kabul by the Taliban last August. The international community feels it has little choice but to cut off Afghanistan’s main source of aid – foreign aid, on which the country was previously almost entirely dependent.
Over the past year, millions of lives have been affected by the stringent measures that led to the withdrawal of humanitarian assistance and the restrictions imposed on the country’s financial system.
The liquidity crisis, cash shortages, the collapse of the banking system and Western sanctions – for those displaced to live in makeshift settlements, the terms of The major complexities circulating in the Afghan context represent only one thing: staggering levels of poverty.
A staggering number of Afghans are unable to access a salary or lifelong savings, while the rising cost of living and scarce job opportunities have plunged entire families into deep debt.
Most people have nothing to spend, and shrinking demand for basic goods has forced small businesses to close. In the shadow of the Ukraine war, prices of food and essential products have skyrocketed, leaving them out of reach for impoverished communities.
There are about 2.5 million people living in the slums of Afghanistan. For them and many others across the country, survival is a struggle and a daily price they are paying for this fragile peace.
* This photo essay is provided by Norwegian Refugee Council