Desperate Afghans queue for free bread as poverty crisis deepens
In the early hours of each morning, Muhajira rushes in freezing temperatures to a modest bakery in the Afghan capital to wait for warm naan bread to be distributed.
On some days, it is all her family, and the others who have joined the queue, will eat for the day.
"If I don't bring bread from here, we will go to bed hungry," mother of two Muhajira Amanallah told AFP on Tuesday.
"I even thought of selling my daughters, but I backed down and relied on God alone."
Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster, worsened by the Taliban takeover in August -- when Western countries froze international aid and access to assets held abroad.
Jobs have dried up and many government workers have not been paid for months in the country, which was almost entirely dependent on foreign donations under the previous US-backed government.
The United Nations has warned that half the country is threatened with food shortages.
The bread distribution launched on Saturday is part of the Save Afghans From Hunger campaign organised by a Kabul university professor.
At least 75 families in seven districts of the capital, currently blanketed in snow, will receive daily naan rations for a month.
In the queue, Nouriya stands alongside five other women, all in the blue burqa that the Taliban encourages women in the country to wear.
After the death of her husband she got handouts from friends, but that has ended.
"We eat rice or soup made with carrots and turnips... and we put pieces of bread in it instead of meat," said Nouriya, a mother of five.
While men and women wait for their share of bread, children play, some wearing tattered shoes too big for them.
As the last person left the bakery, owner Makram El-Din said: "People have lost their jobs, and they no longer have any income. We used to use four sacks of flour a day, now we only use one and a half."
President Joe Biden said Sunday that recent cases of monkeypox that have been identified in Europe and the United States were something “to be concerned about.” In his first public comments on the disease, Biden added: “It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential." “They haven't told me the level of exposure yet but it is something that everybody should be concerned about,” Biden said.
The war between Russia and Ukraine is now heading to the fourth month, with no signs of peace. The ferocious fighting which began on February 24 has killed thousands of civilians, flattened cities and forced more than six million Ukrainians to flee the country. Having already abandoned its move to capture capital Kyiv, Russia is now all out to capture the eastern and southern parts of the war-torn country.
Shanghai reopened a small part of the world's longest subway system on Sunday after some lines had been closed for almost two months, as the city paves the way for a more complete lifting of its painful COVID-19 lockdown next week. Inside the carriages, passengers were seen keeping some empty seats between themselves. Four of the 20 lines reopened, and 273 bus routes. Most restrictions on movement will remain in place this month.
US President Joe Biden, in Seoul before heading to Japan as part of his first Asia trip as president, had a simple message for North Korea's Kim Jong Un: "Hello... period," he told reporters on the last day of his visit to South Korea on Sunday. Biden said he was "not concerned" about new North Korean nuclear tests, which would be the first in nearly five years.
Only diplomacy can end the Ukraine war, the country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has insisted as Kyiv on Saturday ruled out settling for ceasefire or “concessions” to Russia. Here are ten updates on the Ukraine war: 1. The war-hit country has estimated its losses to be around $100 billion, reports have said. The Ukraine war has triggered a global fuel and food crisis. But it has also widened the differences between Russia and its neighbouring countries.