Food crisis leading to rise in child brides, Canadian aid agencies warn – National


Canadian aid agencies warn that the global food crisis, aggravated by the war in Ukraine, is leading to an increase in the number of underage girls being forced into marriage.

Plan International Canada says it has seen a worrying increase in the number of adolescent girls in the developing world being forced into marriage because their families cannot afford to feed them.

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The agency says 12 million girls under the age of 18 become child brides every year, forcing them to drop out of school while putting their health at risk through teenage pregnancy.

It warns that a 15% decline in child marriage over the past decade has now been reversed, with the problem acute in countries including South Sudan, Niger, Mali, Chad and Bangladesh, a major importer of Ukrainian wheat.

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According to World Vision, in Afghanistan, where more than 22 million people suffer from hunger, girls are taken out of school and married off, including in violent homes, because their families cannot afford to feed them. .

Tanjina Mirza, program manager at Plan International Canada, says rising food insecurity is exposing more girls to forced marriage and child labor to ease the burden on struggling families.

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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