Unemployment and poverty have forced many Afghan men into street vending

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, poverty and unemployment rates have been on the rise, leading many people, particularly in urban areas, to seek low-income jobs such as street vending.

The western city of Herat, as other places, has seen a rise in the number of people seeking to make a living by selling on the streets. 

Raz Mohammad lost his job shortly after the previous government fell, and after eight months of unsuccessful job searching, he turned to street vending. “It’s better than being unemployed,” he said. “Although business is slow, I’m thankful that I can still bring home five loaves of bread at the end of the day,” he told KabulNow. 

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Esmatullah spends his days selling vegetables from a cart. “After the government fell, I went to Iran to find work, but I had a hard time finding a job there, so I came back home and started pushing a cart. I make up to 250 AFN ($2.8) a day to make ends meet,” he explained. 

Ali Ahmad sells cosmetics in the streets of Herat city. But the Taliban’s restrictions on women and their movements, not many turns to him. 

“I have a degree in Law and Political Science, and I pursued my education with the hope of landing a decent job in the future. But now, I’m selling cosmetics on the streets,” Ali Ahmad said. Adding that “most people turn to street vending due to poverty.”