A devastating earthquake rocks Afghanistan as the Taliban struggle to respond

After the collapse of the previous government and heavy international sanctions, the country's humanitarian crisis has only worsened.

USA About: Earthquake Publish: Last Friday at 12:00 AM Edit: Last Friday at 12:00 AM Author: Gardener

AfghanistanAccurate information from the remote mountain villages affected by the quake was limited. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), around 770 people are estimated to have been killed, at least 1,455 injured and nearly 1,500 homes confirmed destroyed and damaged. The Taliban estimate the death toll at more than 1,000 people. On Wednesday evening, the Taliban Defense Ministry confirmed that 90% of earthquake-related search and rescue operations had been completed. However, additional assessments will take place on Thursday to verify this and the number of victims could continue to rise, OCHA reported. Taliban Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada - who rarely appears in public - asked the international community and humanitarian agencies "to spare no effort and help the Afghan people affected by this great tragedy". UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the global body was "fully mobilized" to help, with the UN confirming it had deployed health teams and stocks of medicines, food, trauma kits and emergency shelters to the earthquake zone. S. Agency for International Development and other federal government partners to assess how to help those most affected, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement Thursday. Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the Turkish Red Crescent, which operates in Afghanistan, has sent humanitarian aid to the victims. On Thursday, a Taliban spokesman said aid had also arrived from Qatar, Iran and Pakistan, with flights and trucks carrying items including medicines, tents and tarpaulins. "We face risks that are far more serious than war." "We're not just about non-food items and getting people into shelters and providing medical care, we're also about preventing waterborne diseases." , Alakbarov said, adding, "And that could be a very, very undesirable scenario." An estimated $15 million in aid is needed to respond to the disaster, Alakbarov said -- a number likely to continue to rise, when information about the situation on the ground arrives. "Disaster relief is complex and challenging," said former Afghan Minister of State for Disaster Management Najib Aqa Fahim, who expressed doubts about the Taliban's ability to respond in an interview with HuffPost. “The Taliban government lacks experience in responding to disasters. Fahim said Afghanistan's disaster preparedness infrastructure was damaged in the Taliban takeover. Unskilled Taliban members have replaced disaster management experts at ministerial and provincial levels. The High Commissioner for Disaster Management, which used to coordinate government agencies and international humanitarian organizations, is currently ineffective. There are no longer provincial or district disaster management committees or municipal councils to help coordinate and disseminate information. This earthquake has only added to the many problems affecting Afghanistan. S. and his allies had frozen about $7 billion in foreign exchange reserves and halted international funding when the Taliban took power. "We face risks far more serious than war," Fahim said. “We now face the added difficulty of dealing with natural disasters.

Keywords: Taliban, Afghanistan, Thursday, Alakbarov, UN, Afghan, OCHA, 90%, about $7 billion, HuffPost, An estimated $15 million, Pakistan, Iran, Qatar, Turkish, Wednesday, Foreign Ministry, Turkey, Jake Sullivan, U.S. National Security, International Development, S. Agency

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