Taliban request more aid after Afghanistan earthquake


Afghan men try to retrieve a car from the debris of damaged houses after the recent earthquake in Wor Kali village in the Barmal district of Paktika province, Afghanistan, June 25, 2022. REUTERS/Ali Khara

On Saturday, vital medical supplies reached hospitals in a remote region of Afghanistan struck by an earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people last week. At the same time, the Taliban government of Afghanistan pleaded for additional international aid.

Authorities have ceased their search for survivors in the hilly southeastern region near the Pakistani border after Wednesday's 6.1-magnitude earthquake, which injured over 2,000 people and damaged or destroyed 10,000 buildings.

Aftershocks killed at least five more people on Friday in a location around 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of the capital Kabul. Medical personnel said inadequate healthcare facilities hampered their efforts to assist the injured.

"Those injured that were in a bad condition and needed operations, (which) we can't do here, have been sent to Kabul," said Abrar, who goes by one name, the administrator of a hospital in Paktika, the hardest-hit region.

In Kabul, clinics that are better accustomed to treating war victims have opened their doors to earthquake victims.

Stefano Sozza, the country director for Emergency Hospital, an Italian-funded surgical center for war victims, stated, "Normally, we only admit war-related patients or patients with life-threatening conditions, but in this case, we decided to make an exception to support the Afghan people."

One of the patients, a woman from the Gayan district of Paktika whose identity is withheld for security reasons, reported that nine family members had perished in the earthquake.

"Just I remain," she stated. "My legs are broken, we have nothing; we eat what the Taliban give us."

The incident is a big test for Afghanistan's Taliban authorities, which many Western nations have ostracized over human rights concerns since seizing control of the country last year.

As a result of Western sanctions, Afghanistan has been cut off from a significant amount of direct foreign help, which has exacerbated the humanitarian catastrophe in large portions of the country even before last week's earthquake.

The United Nations and several others have sent relief to the afflicted areas, and more are expected to arrive in the coming days. On Saturday, the Taliban called for additional aid shipments to assist earthquake victims.

Mohammad Amen Hozifa, the spokesman for the provincial government of Paktika, said, "We call on all humanitarian organizations to help the people,"

On Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that the country would send tents, towels, beds, and other items to Afghanistan for 50 million yuan ($7.5 million) to assist those impacted by the earthquake.

The UN agency for migration announced on Saturday that it had begun to distribute thousands of emergency shelters and sanitary kits in affected areas.

Publish : 2022-06-25 19:54:00

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