Tue, 30 May 2023

Tashkent [Uzbekistan], June 25 (ANI): Uzbekistan sent 74 tons of humanitarian aid to neighbouring Afghanistan in order to address the most urgent needs of affected Afghans following a deadly earthquake and subsequent floods, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry press service said Saturday.

The humanitarian aid that consisted of food, necessities and medicines was organized following Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's instructions, reported Xinhua.

Uzbekistan's government announced the humanitarian aid in response to the earthquake that hit the southern parts of Afghanistan in the wee hours of Wednesday, with a particularly devastating impact in Paktika and Khost provinces, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring more than 1,500.

Strong quakes destroyed buildings and homes, severely damaged hospitals and schools and disrupted water networks, roads and bridges.

In wake of this, India handed over the second batch of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan on Friday in the presence of Taliban officials.

The relief assistance handed over by the Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary (PAI), JP Singh consisted of essential items including family ridge tents, sleeping bags, blankets, sleeping mats, etc to support the people of Afghanistan in quake-affected regions.

The first consignment from India was handed over on Thursday. India also deployed a team to the Embassy in Kabul to coordinate the efforts of stakeholders for the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Taliban welcomed India's decision to return its technical team to continue humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

Over this incident, India expressed condolences to the victims and their families impacted by the tragic earthquake in Afghanistan. India said it remains committed to providing assistance and support in this hour of need.

Earlier, the European Commission also announced 1 million euros in humanitarian funding for an estimated 270,000 people living in the affected areas requiring emergency assistance.

Janez Lenarcic, Commissioner for Crisis Management told that the funding will address the most immediate needs of Afghans, such as the provision of medical assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene services, shelter, and protection services for the most affected and disadvantaged communities.

The earthquake struck an already extremely fragile country, marked by decades of conflict, recurrent droughts, and a sharp economic decline due to recent political developments since the Taliban take-over of power in August 2021.

To date, around 1000 people were estimated to have been killed across Barmal and Giyan districts in Paktika province, and Spera district in Khost province.

In addition, at least 1,455 people were injured across three of the six most affected districts of Barmal, Giyan, and Spera - many of them seriously.

Further, nearly 1,500 homes have now been verified as destroyed and damaged in Giyan district, Paktika province.

Immediate humanitarian assistance was dispatched to affected areas on June 22, including 10 tons of medical supplies sufficient for 5,400 surgeries and medical treatments covering 36,000 people for three months by WHO. (ANI)

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