A desperate Afghan father has stated he is willing to sell his 4-year-old daughter for $580 to feed the rest of his family of seven and provide the 4-year-old with a better life.

Following the devastating effects of the pandemic and an expected reduction in international support for their newly-claimed state, Afghanis under the hardline group face an uncertain economic future.

According to the Times, Mr Nazir lost his job as a police officer in Ghazni and escaped with his wife and five children to Kabul, the capital, just days before the Taliban arrived.

After losing his job as a cop only days before the Taliban took over, then watching as Afghanistan’s economy plummet to near-record low exchange rates, Nazir is in despair. He said he could not even afford rent let alone food. As a result, New York Post reported he has been forced to sell his daughter.

Mir Nazir, 38, said he would “prefer to die” than sell his child but that he has had little choice since the Taliban took control of the country.

“I would prefer to die than be reduced to selling my daughter,” Nazir, 38, told the UK paper.

“But my own death wouldn’t save anyone in my family. Who would feed my other children? This isn’t about choice. It’s about desperation,” he said.

Mr Nazir told the paper: “I received an offer from a shop owner, a man I knew who had no children.

“He offered 20,000 afghanis for my daughter Safia to live with him and start working in his shop. But I can’t sell my daughter for that low a price, so I asked for 50,000.

“We are still discussing. She may have a better future working in a shop than staying with me, and the price may save my family,” he said, noting the buyer promised he could “buy her back” if he later got enough money.

His decision comes as the UN World Food Programme warns that a third of Afghans are hungry, with 2 million children suffering from malnutrition.

“Over half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line, and food insecurity is on the rise, largely due to conflict and insecurity cutting off whole communities from livelihood opportunities,” the world’s largest humanitarian organization has warned.