Staying at home in Kabul: Unemployment and Poverty Deadlier than the Coronavirus

Staying at home in Kabul: Unemployment and Poverty Deadlier than the Coronavirus

31 Mar 2020

“If the quarantine continues, those who are destitute and unable to buy food may die of starvation. Who gives the free food. No one,” Mohammad Ali laughs when he speaks the word “die” after “starvation”.

He lives in the 13th District of Kabul and is responsible to cover a family of seven.

The children and his wife everyday stare at the door that Ali comes and brings some food with his daily wages.

Staying at home

Like many responsible men in poor families, Mohammed Ali has now stayed at home due to the spread of the Coronavirus, the day-time curfew and restrictions in Kabul.

Now Ali has nothing to do during the day and plays with his children at home.

Although the plan of the Emergency Prevention Committee of Corona Virus states that for the sellers and day laborers, a special plan will be prepared, but in practice, this seems to be just a proposal and will stay within the draft.

Rental Houses

Mohammad Ali lives in a rented house with a rent of 3,000 AFN per month. With the day-time curfew in Kabul, he is also in quarantine.

“I used to collect old irons out of the alleys and sell them, but it has been 15 days that the market are locked,” Ali said.

He is unable to buy a sack of flour and is in bad economic condition.

Asked how his family is dealing with these days, he says, “They tell me to go out and work, but where’s the work?” leave it.

Muhammad Ali’s suggestion to the government is to work with the poor people. Regarding the government assistance, he says, “Even if the government does help, it doesn’t reach out to poor people, because the owners of the house get it. Whenever the aid committees came here, I tell them that my house is rented, and get me on the list too. They only shortlist the name of house owners. “

Quarantine of Kabul City

The only option to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in all countries affected by the epidemic has been to quarantine and stay home.

After the Coronavirus reached Herat, a campaign called “Stay at Home!” launched on social networks.

After the first case of Corona virus was confirmed positive in Kabul, the Emergency Prevention Committee of Coronavirus presented a proposal to the cabinet requesting a restriction of movements in Kabul or a type of quarantine in Kabul.

According to the plan, all collective activities in Kabul were suspended for two weeks, after which the Interior Ministry announced the severity of the restrictions and announced that it would take the movement restrictions more seriously.

It has been three days since the day-time curfew in Kabul, but from now on the poor and middle class people are facing a downward spiral of unemployment and staying at home.

Zackaria Noori contributed reporting.

0 Shares