65pc of Helmand residents jobless: officials
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Government officials on Wednesday blamed the deteriorating security situation on a high rate of unemployment in southern Helmand province, saying 65 percent people have no jobs.
Economy Director Nisar Ahmad Zuhaib told Pajhwok Afghan News it was a matter of great concern that people’s economic situation was weakening day by day in Helmand.
He said the joblessness was fueling insecurity and pushing the youth into drug addiction, accusing both the Afghan government and the international community of failing to implement infrastructural development projects over the past decade.
The official said if the government and the international community have had launched long-term projects, it would have helped improve the security situation on the one hand and rescued the people from starvation on the other.
The economy director said efforts were being made to involve more people on projects planned in districts and remote parts in order to improve their lifestyle.
Labour and social affairs official Mohammad Aman Nikmal said they had conducted surveys, which showed 65 percent people in Helmand were jobless. He said the high rate of unemployment could have been address if the government and the international community had given heed to the promotion of industry and agriculture sectors over the past 12 years.
Deputy police chief Co. Juma Gul Himmat said thousands of youth had become drug addicts due to lack of jobs. He said the joblessness had forced the youth into joining the ranks of Taliban and had been behind the increasing graph of crimes in the province.
He said the government and aid-giving agencies had failed to device an effective strategy that could have overcome the challenge of unemployment.
Seema, who along with her two children was roaming in Lashkargah to call for alms, said her husband was a drug addict and had no job to feed the family, leaving her with no option to but to start begging.
“My father and grandfather were respectable people. I feel shame while begging on the streets, but have no alternative because my children want bread,” she said.
Gulab, a white-bearded man, said he would find labour easily in the past, but had not been able to find one over the past three months, furthering his economic woes.
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