Laborers Sell their Blood for a Piece of Bread in the City of Millionaires

In the southwest of the country, some laborers have been forced by the aftershocks of war and unemployment to consider selling blood as an option to feed family members in addition to selling household items. One of the largest provinces in this area is Kandahar, which is known among a number of people as the “City of Millionaires”. In this province, a large number of young people and breadwinners suffer from unemployment, and most of the time when they leave home with the intention of finding work, they return home empty-handed in the evening. Due to their poor living conditions, some of these workers are suitable for use as tools by irresponsible gunmen, which in fact leads to an increase in criminal offenses in the province. Others are forced to provide their daily food by selling blood to the wounded in hospitals.

In the past, young people from Kandahar gathered for work in a specific place because they were few in number but now everything has changed for them. Laborers are now gathering at several places to find paid labor. Some of them find work and others spend their hot and cold days hoping to find labor on the street. Many of these young people have even become addicted to drugs because of the heavy burden placed on them by their families and because they cannot cope with the hardships of life.

One of these young people in Kandahar is called Pahlawan. He says that no one cares about them and every day they come to work in a place called “Madad Khan Square”. According to Pahlawan, although they start their day with hope, contrary to their expectations, they go home empty-handed in the evening. Pahlawan is worried about the up and downs of his life. According to him, there are many investors in Kandahar, but they cannot or do not want to invest in the province to solve the problem of unemployment.

Abdul Qayum is another laborer in Kandahar. He comes to this square every morning hoping to find some work but his day ends with no work. He says most workers have become addicted due to lack of work, resulting in illegal work and theft. “There are more of us who sit here for days and can’t find work,” he said. “For this reason, a number of them turned to take up armed in exchange for money, which in the end are either killed or arrested by the government.”

Kandahar is currently the most insecure province in Afghanistan; the province with the highest number of casualties. Most of the residents of this province consider the increase of unemployed youth as one of the main reasons for the spread of insecurity in this province. They suggest that national businessmen work to reduce unemployment so that, in addition to the economic dimension of the issue, the security situation also improves.

Meanwhile, Mukhtar Ahmad Firooz, ‘caretaker’ of the Kandahar Department of Labor and Social Affairs, says that he has lined up business units for the unemployed and made it easier for them to find work. Over the past year, he said, appointments have been made for 3,000 posts in Kandahar local administrations, and in addition, 20 to 25 small and large companies are licensed daily. He did not provide the exact figure of the young people who have been hired in the past year. Firooz said the number of unemployed youth has increased in recent days with the withdrawal of foreign troops.

In addition, Habibaullah Jilani, head of the Kandahar Department of Labor and Social Affairs, said that they had set up vocational training centers in two areas of the province and that thousands of young people, both men, and women, were currently being trained in various departments. Graduates of vocational training centers now have their own businesses, he said.

It should be noted that the city of Kandahar is known as the “city of millionaires” among the residents of other provinces of the country due to some constructions in the town of Ainomina in this province. However, contrary to expectations, the residents of this province are struggling with unemployment in recent days due to war and insecurity and are not having a good time. For this reason, the rate of criminal offenses and armed attacks in the province has increased significantly and the sale and purchase of intoxicants have also increased.