The second winter since the Taliban took over and foreign funds were frozen, millions are a step away from famine.
“Our children keep crying, and they don’t sleep. We have no food,” Abdul Wahab said.
“So we go to the pharmacy, get tablets and give them to our children so that they feel drowsy.”
He lives just outside Herat, the country’s third largest city, in a settlement of thousands of little mud houses that has grown over decades, filled with people displaced and battered by war and natural disasters.
Abdul is among a group of nearly a dozen men who gathered around us. We asked, how many were giving drugs to their children to sedate them?
“A lot of us, all of us,” they replied.
Ghulam Hazrat felt in the pocket of his tunic and pulled out a strip of tablets. They were alprazolam – tranquilisers usually prescribed to treat anxiety disorders