Following the deadly earthquake on June 22 in south-eastern Afghanistan, the Australian government has announced an additional $1 million in humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan.
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed her sincere condolences to the Afghan people as well as the Australian Afghan community and said that this assistance is in addition to the $140 million in aid that has been promised to Afghanistan since September 2021.
The additional aid, according to her, will be given through UN agencies already present in the impacted area and will be used to help those in need of shelter, food, and medical care.
According to Senator Wong, the earthquake has resulted in considerable loss of lives, houses, and livelihoods, with the entire damages still to be ascertained.
“This tragedy comes at a time when the humanitarian needs in Afghanistan are greater than ever”, she said.
The country’s already precarious healthcare system was put under strain by the magnitude-6.1 earthquake that struck the south-east of the country early on Wednesday. It left 10,000 homes demolished or damaged and about 2,000 people injured.
The humanitarian aid provided to the affected people in Afghanistan comes at a time when the Taliban’s de facto administration has urged the international community to lift the sanctions on the group and to release the frozen funds of the central bank assets.
Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson for the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an interview with the media stated that “The Islamic Emirate is asking the world to give the Afghans their most basic right, which is their right to life, and that is through lifting the sanctions, unfreezing our assets, and also providing assistance.”