Sunday, January 11, 2009



Lack of a cohesive government economic policy seen as main factor in poverty increase

The number of child beggars has increased in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh province.

The shrine of Hazrat Ali—fourth caliph of Islam—known as (Rowza Sharif) parks have become key gathering location for beggars.

These children say, economic problems and lack of a bread winner in the family have forced them to turn to the streets and to beg.

Social experts say that lack of an exact economic policy by the government is the main reason for the increasing poverty and also increase in the number of beggars.

Abdulrab Jahid, a social expert, said: "The government does not have a proper plan in all fields, and the beggars' problem is one of these."

The head of the police department in Balkh, Sardar Muhammad Sultani, said the police have started investigations to identify the leaders of these child begging groups, seeks to round them up and eject them from the city.

The Afghan government recently agreed to round up street beggars and relocate them, though to where remains unclear, as do the measures the government will take to provide humane care for displaced beggars.