Inauguration of Airport Interdiction Unit (AIU) at Mawlana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi International Airport, Mazar-i-Sharif
On 04 February 2021, the Airport Interdiction Unit (AIU) at Mazar-i-Sharif's Mawlana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi International Airport (MJMBIA) was officially inaugurated by H.E Mohammad Hashim Aurtaq, Deputy Minister (Counter Narcotics), Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan. [Read More]
Mohammad Salem, a 33-year-old farmer from Argo District, Badakhshan, struggled to make a viable living to support his family from licit agriculture and began cultivating opium poppy to supplement his income. Poppy cultivation however turned out to be volatile and unpredictable. Mohammad Salem recounts, "I never received a large amount of money. The people collecting the opium used to pay in small installments, which meant I couldn't meet my family's monthly expenses." Things became harder when opium prices plummeted and Mohammad Salem's was unable to earn enough to support his four children, and was unable to buy necessities such as wheat, oil, sugar, clothes and medicine. In addition, being involved in what he knew was an illegal activity brought mental stress and social anguish.
Dara e Noor is a mountainous district in Nangahar with a poor socio-economic outlook for the residents who rely on agriculture and livestock for their income. Gulpari, a widow from Dare-e-Noor, describes how difficult life was in the area :"As a mother of three children, I was washing clothes and carrying drinking water to pay for food and medical treatment of my husband before he died. The money I earned from this was not sufficient to meet our daily expenses so I borrowed money from the money lenders. As I was unable to repay the loan, my eldest son was taken hostage and I was forced to herd the money lenders sheep and goats three days a week. Once the money lender was satisfied that I had worked enough to cover the loan, he returned my son".