Afghanistan is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, with the country seeing a sharp deterioration in the situation since the Taliban seized power in August.

International funds which propped up the country’s fragile economy have been stopped as the world debates how to deal with the Taliban regime.

The United Nations has issued a stark warning – that millions will die if urgent aid does not reach the country soon.

Media reports say that starving Afghans are forced to sell their young daughters into marriage to survive.

The UN's children's agency (UNICEF) has said at least 161 children between the ages of 1 month and 16 years were either betrothed or married off in exchange for a dowry, or sold outright by their parents from July to October in the provinces of Badghis and neighboring Herat. UNICEF said parents were using the money to pay off debts or to buy food.  

UNICEF says incidences of child marriage and child-selling, which are not unheard of in the most impoverished and conservative areas of the war-torn country, have been exacerbated by a devastating drought.

UNICEF says around 223,000 people have been uprooted from their homes in the drought-hit western provinces of Herat, Badghis, and Ghor this year.

AFP reported yesterday that Fahima has wept many times since her husband sold their two young daughters into marriage to survive the drought gripping western Afghanistan.

Oblivious to the deal, six-year-old Farishteh and 18-month-old Shokriya sit by her side in a mud-brick and tarpaulin shelter for displaced people.

“My husband said if we don't give away our daughters, we will all die because we don't have anything to eat,” Fahima said of the choice now facing thousands of Afghan families.

This is far from the only family in Afghanistan that was forced to sell it child in order to feed the rest of the children.

Child marriage has been practiced in Afghanistan for centuries, but war and climate change-related poverty have driven many families to resort to striking deals earlier and earlier in girls' lives.