The UAE dispatched food and basic medical supplies, along with a medical team to set up a field hospital to south-east Afghanistan, WAM news agency reported. Sending aid comes in light of the UAE’s ongoing follow-up to the present situation in Afghanistan and its effective contribution to reducing the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that hit southeast Afghanistan on Wednesday, which left thousands of victims injured, resulting in a shortage of food and medicine for a large cluster of the population of the earthquake affected area.
The 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck early on Wednesday about 160 kilometers southeast of Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul, in arid mountains stippled with small settlements which border Pakistan. Damaged roads, along with minimal communication and flooding from before the earthquake were impeding the emergency response, officials said on Thursday.
Gayan, a small town closest to the epicenter has endured the most damage, with most of its mud-walled buildings damaged or completely destroyed. Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, spokesman for the senior Taliban military commander in hardest-hit Paktika province said that poor telephone networks made the rescue operation more strenuous and demanding. The Taliban government has called on the international community for help.
The UN has already shipped around 10,000 tonnes of essential medical supplies to the region and sent 20 health teams, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov shared, while the Japanese government announced plans to provide assistance and relief to Afghanistan, a government representative said on Thursday.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter that eight lorries of food and other necessities from Pakistan arrived in Paktika and that two planes of humanitarian aid from Iran and another from Qatar had arrived. The US said it would look for ways to help, including through potential talks with the Taliban.