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Editorial: Malnutrition

Children in Afghanistan are going through the most difficult time. Afghan children are facing more problems—of severe nature with no visible solution—than any other segment of the society. Most of them neither have access to quality health services nor education nor other basic facilities. They are the most unlucky when compared to children of the other Asian countries, even Nepal and North Korea are performing better in protecting rights of the children and providing them basic facilities. In Afghanistan the Lady Luck is smiling only on those who are born with a silver spoon. Their social status matters a lot when speaking about rights and access to public services.

When it comes to health services, children born in poor families cannot dream of food full of nutrition, let alone quality healthcare facilities. According to statistics of the Ministry of Public Health, over 40 children are suffering from malnutrition. As per the data released by the ministry in December 2015, not only children but women are also facing serious health problems when it comes to nutrition. Nearly 95 percent Afghan women are unable to consume the required amount of Vitamin D. The health ministry had blamed the neighboring countries for this serious issue at the time of releasing the report. However, till date the relevant authorities had not taken any step to deal with the issue. Following on footsteps of other ministries the health ministry also presented a good excuse—blaming the neighboring countries for production of substandard food items to turn away from responsibilities.

However, it is not the case because the neighboring countries are not sending these food items free of cost. Afghan authorities never speak of the harsh reality that our own traders visit the neighboring countries to order substandard food stuff so they could satiate their greed. These traders have strong links with the lawmakers, ministers and other high-ranking officials. Most of them are relatives of the high-ups and spent huge amount of money on the political campaigns. Accusing the neighbors for every problem has made the system corrupt and lazy. Such excuses are used as permits by the opportunists to play with lives of the people to earn millions of Afghanis in a short span of time.

It is worth wondering that why the government is acting like a silent spectator on this serious issue. It is also a matter of grave concerns that the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) is not canceling licenses of the profiteers who are playing with lives of innocent children. The AISA should cancel license of all those who are importing unhealthy products.

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