‘Unprecedented’ Number of Afghans Suffering, Gallup Poll Says


The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in August following a chaotic U.S. withdrawal has led to “unprecedented” suffering among Afghans, a new survey finds.

According to a Gallup poll, 94% of Afghans “rated their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering.”

Though it was the highest level since 2005, suffering has been on an upward trend since 2017, when the Taliban began a long offensive to take the country back, Gallup said.

Among women, 96% reported suffering, compared with 92% of men. There were no notable differences in the level of suffering among Afghanistan’s regions.

Women are also pessimistic about their futures, Gallup said, as the Taliban have reneged on promises to reverse banning women from secondary and higher education. Women have been restricted from working in every field except health care and primary education.

The need for humanitarian aid in the country is desperate, but attention has shifted away from the country since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Gallup said.

“Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and other countries pledged substantial amounts of aid. However, in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine, it is unclear how much additional aid will be forthcoming,” Gallup said in a press release.

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