Afghanistan earthquake: ‘What can we do when one other catastrophe hits?’ Afghans face crises on all fronts

Home Latest Posts Afghanistan earthquake: ‘What can we do when one other catastrophe hits?’ Afghans face crises on all fronts
Afghanistan earthquake: ‘What can we do when one other catastrophe hits?’ Afghans face crises on all fronts
Afghanistan earthquake: ‘What can we do when one other catastrophe hits?’ Afghans face crises on all fronts

The gradual response, exacerbated by worldwide sanctions and many years of mismanagement, considerations humanitarians, similar to Obaidullah Baher, a lecturer in transitional justice on the American College of Afghanistan. “This is a very patchy solution to a problem that we need to start thinking (about) in the medium to long term…what do we do when (another disaster) occurs?” He informed CNN by telephone.

The 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck throughout the early hours of Wednesday close to the Pakistani border metropolis of Khost and the demise toll is anticipated to rise as many houses within the space have been made flimsy of wooden, mud and different perishable supplies. .

Humanitarian companies are converging within the space, however days could go earlier than support reaches the affected areas, that are among the many most distant within the nation.

The groups deployed by the Worldwide Committee of the Pink Cross haven’t but arrived, based on Anita Dollard, the ICRC’s spokeswoman for Asia and the Pacific. Efforts to get support to affected areas are slowing due to the situation of the roads, mentioned Shelly Thackeral, a spokeswoman for the United Nations World Meals Program in Kabul.

“The challenges we face, first of all, are geographic and logistical challenges because the area is so remote, rural and mountainous. Already yesterday we had a lot of rain here and the combination of rain and earthquake caused the combination of rain and earthquake that caused UNICEF’s Chief of Communications in Afghanistan, Sam Mort, to CNN from Kabul:” It led to landslides in some areas, making street site visitors troublesome.”

Men stand around the bodies of those killed in an earthquake that struck Jayan village in Afghanistan's Paktika province on June 23.

The earthquake coincided with heavy monsoon rains and winds between June 20 and 22, hampering search efforts and helicopter travel.

With paramedics and emergency staff from across the country trying to reach the site, aid is expected to be limited as a number of organizations pulled out of the aid-dependent country when the Taliban took power in August last year.

Those that remain thin elongated. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said it had mobilized “each useful resource” from across the country, with teams on the ground providing emergency medicines and support. But, in the words of one WHO official, “Assets are draining right here, not only for this area.”

so gloomy

The international community’s reluctance to engage with the Taliban and the group’s “very chaotic paperwork the place it’s troublesome to get data from a single supply” has led to a communication gap in the rescue effort, Baher – who is also the founder of the relief group Save. Afghans are hungry – he said.

“The gist of all of it is how the coverage has translated into this hole in communication, not solely between international locations and the Taliban, however worldwide support organizations and the Taliban as nicely,” he added.

Baher gives an example of how he has acted as an information conduit with the World Food Program and other aid organizations, telling them that the Afghan Ministry of Defense was offering to airlift aid from humanitarian organizations to severely affected areas.

Meanwhile, some people have spent the night sleeping in makeshift outdoor shelters, as rescuers search for survivors with a flashlight. The United Nations says 2,000 homes are believed to have been destroyed. Images from hard-hit Paktika state, where most deaths were reported, show homes reduced to dust and rubble.

Hsiao-Wei Lee, deputy director of the World Food Program in Afghanistan, described the situation on the ground as “extraordinarily bleak”, with “some villages within the severely affected areas fully destroyed or 70% collapsed,” she mentioned.

Members of a Taliban rescue team return from affected villages in the aftermath of the earthquake.

“There might be months, perhaps years, of rebuilding,” she said. “The needs are much greater than just food… It could be shelter for example, to be able to facilitate the movement of that food as well as customs clearance, the logistics would be helpful.”

Officials say aid is reaching the affected areas.

The government has so far distributed food, tents, clothes and other supplies to the quake-hit provinces, according to the official Afghan Defense Ministry Twitter account. She added that the medical and relief teams deployed by the Afghan government are already present in the quake-hit areas and are trying to transport the wounded to medical facilities and health centers by land and air.

The carpet of an entire country and an entire people

Although the economic crisis in Afghanistan has loomed for years as a result of conflict and drought, it has slipped to new depths after the Taliban took control, which prompted the United States and its allies to freeze about $7 billion in the country’s foreign reserves and cut international funds. financing.

The United States no longer has a presence in Afghanistan after the precipitous withdrawal of its forces and the collapse of the former Afghan government backed by the United States. Like almost all other countries, it does not have formal relations with the Taliban government.

The sanctions have crippled the Afghan economy and pushed many of its 20 million people into a severe hunger crisis. Millions of Afghans are out of work, government employees are not being paid, and food prices have gone up.

Humanitarian aid is exempt from sanctions, but there are obstacles, according to Martin Griffiths, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), before the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.

This includes a major need in funding, Taliban authorities “searching for to play a task in choosing beneficiaries and directing help to individuals on their precedence lists,” and “the formal banking system continues to dam remittances,” he writes.

This means that “about 80% of organizations (which responded to the OCHA monitoring survey) are facing delays in transferring funds, with two thirds reporting that their international banks continue to refuse transfers. More than 60% of organizations indicated a lack of cash available within state. a software hindrance.”

A child stands next to a house destroyed by an earthquake in Bernal district of Paktika province on June 23.

Baher says the sanctions “are hurting us a lot” that Afghans are struggling to send money to earthquake-affected families.

“The fact that we hardly have a banking system, the fact that we haven’t printed or brought new currency into the country in the past nine to 10 months, our assets are frozen… those sanctions are not working,” he said.

He added, “The one sanctions which have an ethical that means are these directed at particular people, not the imposition of sanctions on a complete nation and a whole individuals.”

UNICEF’s Mort told CNN that while “sanctions have affected a variety of international locations, there’s an exception for humanitarian support, so we’re bringing it in to assist those that want it most.”

She added that the Taliban “doesn’t stop us from distributing something like that, quite the opposite, it permits us.”

Experts and officials say the most urgent urgent needs include medical care, transportation for the wounded, shelter, supplies for the displaced, food, water and clothes.

An Afghan man searches for his belongings in the rubble of a house destroyed by an earthquake.

The United Nations distributed medical provides and despatched cell well being groups to Afghanistan – however warned that it didn’t have search-and-rescue capabilities.

Baher informed CNN Wednesday That the Taliban have been solely capable of ship six rescue helicopters “as a result of when the US was leaving, they disabled a lot of the planes whether or not they have been owned or by Afghan forces.”

Pakistan has offered to help open border crossings in the northern Khyber Pakhtunkwa province and allow wounded Afghans to enter the country without a visa for treatment, according to Muhammad Ali Saif, a spokesman for the provincial government.

Saif told CNN that “400 wounded Afghans moved to Pakistan this morning for therapy and the torrent of individuals remains to be occurring, and these numbers are anticipated to rise by the top of the day.

Pakistan has imposed tight restrictions on entry of Afghans into the nation via the land border crossing because the Taliban took energy.

Richard Roth, Robert Shackleford, Younger Cheung, Jesse Younger, Sophia Saifi, Muhammed Shafi Kakkar, and Eliza Kassem contributed to this report.

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