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US Announces Urgent Relief Aid for Afghan Quake Victims

ISLAMABAD — The United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, has announced $12 million in immediate humanitarian aid to assist victims of a week of repeated deadly earthquakes in western Afghanistan.

In a statement released on Thursday, the USAID said the funding would support its partner agencies to reach earthquake-affected Afghans with urgently needed supplies, including emergency shelter kits, cooking and water collection materials, blankets, solar lamps, clothing, and other household items.

The Taliban government and the United Nations say more than 1,000 people — mostly women and children — have died and many more injured since the first 6.3 magnitude quake struck Herat and surrounding areas on Saturday.

“We mourn the loss of life from these earthquakes and stand resolutely with the people of Afghanistan as they recover from these crises,” Tom West, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, said in a post on social media site X, sharing details of the USAID aid.

The United States is Afghanistan’s single largest humanitarian donor, providing nearly $2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Afghans since mid-August 2021 when the Taliban seized power and all U.S.-led international troops withdrew, ending after almost 20 years of presence there.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Red Crescent reported Friday that it had halted all humanitarian services in the quake-hit areas in Herat due to a “severe storm” that began overnight. The aid group said on X that the camp it had set up for rescue, sanitation, and shelter purposes had been demolished, prompting it to relocate 256 families to safety.

“Unfortunately, some Afghan Red Crescent employees were injured while rescuing individuals impacted by the heavy windstorm and have been shifted to the hospital for medical treatment,” the agency said.

Source : VOA News