AP and Reuters

EU, UN, several countries pledge aid to earthquake-striken Afghanistan


Afghan men stand on the debris of damaged houses after the recent earthquake, in the district of Zinda Jan, in Herat, Afghanistan October 10, 2023. REUTERS/Ali Khara

Another major earthquake rattled western Afghanistan on Wednesday, just days after one of the world’s deadliest earthquakes killed more than 2,400 people and levelled thousands of homes in the area.

Below are some facts about the pledges of humanitarian aid made to Afghanistan so far, as U.N. agencies try to assess the damage and casualties in Herat province.

The European Union pledged 3.5 million euros ($3.71 million)in emergency humanitarian aid funding, it said in a statement, adding a new allocation to the 2.5 million euros that will be available for humanitarian partners already carrying out relief operations on the ground.

Currently, the main needs are for emergency shelter, medical relief items, and access to safe drinking water and sanitation in an area that has been recently affected by droughts, it said.

The statement said the new assistance came in addition to the 89 million euros in humanitarian aid already allocated in 2023 for humanitarian organisations in Afghanistan.

Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan charitable and humanitarian foundation has provided emergency aid in coordination with the ministry of foreign affairs, including food, medical aid, and other supplies

The U.N. humanitarian coordinator has approved a $5 million emergency reserve allocation from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF).

It said its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will launch and fully process the allocation within 24 hours, with eligible partners able to utilize their grants effective from Oct. 9.

The AHF allocations will be depend on receiving additional donor resources, it said, adding that the U.N. partners will also develop an emergency appeal which will be a subset of the existing 2023 humanitarian response plan.

Pakistan, Iran and China have pledged to send in food, blankets, medicines, tents and funds.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar said that Kabul had specifically asked for medical teams, field hospitals, tents and blankets, adding that all the requested items were being dispatched on Monday afternoon, with more relief goods to follow.

Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdullahian promised humanitarian aid and expressed his readiness to cooperate with Afghanistan, according to a statement.

The Chinese Red Cross Society has pledged $200,000 in aid which will go to the Afghan Red Crescent, according to Chinese state run news agency Xinhua.

Turkey’s foreign office said in a statement it was ready to provide support for the recovery efforts in the affected areas.

($1 = 0.9429 euros)

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