By Ali Imran
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan on Friday dispatched the second tranche of humanitarian assistance for the earthquake affectees in a C-30 aircraft of Pakistan Air Force to Afghanistan.
Minister for State and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood on Friday handed over the consignment to Afghan Chargé d’affaires Sardar Muhammad Shakeeb here at the Nur Khan Base.
NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Akhter Nawaz and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Afghan Embassy in Pakistan were present on the occasion, an NDMA press release said.
This second consignment arranged by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) consisted of family tents and essential food items.
Expressing grief over the loss of lives due to the earthquake, the minister said Pakistan would continue supporting the Afghans suffering from the humanitarian crisis caused by the earthquake.
He said Pakistan had assured full support to Afghanistan in the difficult hour and relevant authorities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NDMA and others were in close contact with the Afghan authorities for the transportation and supply of the relief goods.
The Afghan charge d’affaires thanked the Pakistani government for sending humanitarian assistance promptly for the Afghan people in the hour of need. The NDMA sent its first consignment of relief goods on June 23 via road.
Meanwhile, the death toll from Wednesday’s deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan rose to 1,150 while at least five more people were killed by an aftershock in the same region on Friday morning, deepening the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country as the scale of the disaster becomes more apparent. Eleven people were also injured after another earthquake struck the eastern Paktika province on Friday morning.
According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 4.3 aftershock was detected almost exactly near the epicenter of Wednesday’s earthquake.
A spokesperson for the Taliban government’s disaster ministry told media that the country does not have enough medicines to treat all those who have been affected as he appealed for international medical aid.
Relief and rescue efforts by the Taliban-led government have been severely impacted by the affected region’s poor roads and lack of other infrastructure, forcing locals to bury the dead themselves while also digging through the rubble to find survivors. Some international groups like the Red Crescent and World Food
Program are aiding the relief efforts while the UN Refugee Agency said it has sent in “tons of relief items and several expert staff” to the affected region.
“The earthquake in Afghanistan is a great tragedy, adding to an already dire humanitarian situation. We grieve for all the lives lost and the hardships Afghans continue to face. The U.S. is working with our humanitarian partners to send medical teams to help those affected,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted on Thursday.