In Afghanistan, Eid sales slump despite price cuts

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — As Eid al-Adha approaches, residents of Mazar-i-Sharif report a significant decrease in the prices of traditional Eid sweets. Despite this, the market remains sluggish due to widespread poverty and economic hardship.

Shoppers can be seen preparing for the holiday by buying sweets and fruits for their festive tables. However, many note that while prices have dropped compared to last year, their ability to purchase these items has also diminished.

“Prices have changed significantly compared to previous years; we are very satisfied with the Taliban administration and the merchants for selling at reasonable prices,” said Sardar Wali, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Vendors, however, tell a different story. Despite the lower prices, sales have dramatically decreased compared to previous years. The primary reason, they say, is the financial struggles faced by the population amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

“Prices have gone down and are better than in previous years, but people’s pockets are empty, and they cannot afford to buy,” said Ghiyasuddin, a vendor.

Shafiullah, another vendor, added, “It’s not like previous years. There’s no business, no work, and people can’t afford to buy.”

According to United Nations statistics, more than 23 million Afghan citizens require humanitarian aid, with millions at risk of severe hunger. This dire situation casts a shadow over the holiday, leaving many unable to enjoy the usual festive meals and treats.