KABUL -- In the early hours of each morning, Muhajira Amanallah rushes in freezing temperatures to a modest bakery in Kabul to wait for warm naan bread to be distributed.
On some days, it is all her family, and the others who have joined the queue, will eat for the day.
"If I don't bring bread from here, we will go to bed hungry," the mother of two told AFP on Tuesday (January 18).
"I even thought of selling my daughters, but I backed down and relied on God alone."
Poverty and hunger are driving desperate Afghans to make the terrible choice to sell their daughters, whose dreams of education and freedom have withered away following the collapse of the government in mid-August.
Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster, and the United Nations (UN) on January 11 said it needs $5 billion in aid to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in 2022.
The same day, the US government promised more than $308 million in an initial aid package for Afghanistan this year. Since October, US humanitarian aid for Afghans has totalled almost $782 million.
The UN has warned that 23 million people -- more than half of the country's population -- are threatened with food shortages.
Jobs have dried up, and many government workers have not been paid for months in the country, which was almost entirely dependent on foreign donations under the previous government.
Washington has frozen billions of dollars of the country's assets, while aid supplies have been heavily disrupted.
Afghanistan also suffered its worst drought in decades in 2021.
Save Afghans From Hunger
The bread distribution launched last Saturday is part of the Save Afghans From Hunger campaign organised by a Kabul university professor.
At least 75 families in seven districts of the capital, currently blanketed in snow, will receive 10 pieces of naan daily for a month, according to the campaign's donation page.
"The bread costs 9 AFN so it will cost us $64 to feed 75 families every day," it said, noting that the campaign will expand to reach 200 families a day starting next week.
In the queue, Nouriya stands alongside five other women, all in the blue burqa that the Taliban encourages women in the country to wear.
After the death of her husband, she got handouts from friends, but that has ended.
"We eat rice or soup made with carrots and turnips... and we put pieces of bread in it instead of meat," said Nouriya, a mother of five.
While men and women wait for their share of bread, children play, some wearing tattered shoes too big for them.
"People have lost their jobs, and they no longer have any income," said bakery owner Makram el-Din as the last person left the queue. "We used to use four sacks of flour a day; now we use only one and a half."