Nine-year-old Parwana dug her heels into the ground as she tried to resist being taken from her family home after she was sold into marriage with a 55-year-old man in northwest Afghanistan last week.

Village and displaced people’s camp leaders say the numbers of young girls getting betrothed started to rise during a 2018 famine and surged this year when the rains failed once more.

Parwana’s family has lived in poverty for years, but life has gotten harder for them since the Taliban takeover of the country earlier this year and as international aid has dried up.

Abdul Malik, Parwana’s father, told CNN ahead of the sale that he was “broken” with guilt and worry, but had no choice as the family is unable to afford food.

Several months ago he sold Parwana’s 12-year-old sister, and he already knows the money from the sale of Parwana won’t last long.

Ahead of the sale, Parwana said that she was sold because the family doesn’t have money for food.

“He has sold me to an old man,” said the girl, who had dreamed of becoming a teacher. READ MORE

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