Afghanistan: Support pledged for earthquake-affected residents of Herat

In the midst of mounting challenges faced by the victims and survivors of the Herat earthquake, the United Nations (UN) and several countries worldwide have made commitments to provide assistance.

The death toll from the earthquake continues to rise, compounding the difficulties faced by residents and rescue operations due to the persistent lack of facilities.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in the Zinda Jan district, where approximately 3,000 homes have been destroyed.

One Herat resident conveyed to Amu that many people remain trapped under debris due to the shortage of necessary equipment for their rescue. Urging local assistance, the resident stated, “There are individuals under the rubble who need to be rescued. Young people capable of helping should pick up shovels and come here.”

The Taliban has announced dispatching rescue teams to the affected area, but the extensive destruction caused by the earthquake has impeded their access to victims.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, appealed to Afghan traders to provide support to earthquake victims, emphasizing their commitment to aid efforts.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that humanitarian partners have initiated relief operations, including five emergency assessment teams deployed by the International Organization of Migration, the Danish Refugee Council, the World Food Program, and other aid organizations. UNICEF Office of Emergency Programmes’ team has also been sent to Herat.

Simultaneously, the Taliban has called upon international organizations to expedite their assistance efforts, citing the provincial hospital’s lack of sufficient beds for patients.

Across Afghanistan, people have expressed their condolences to the victims and their families on social media. Many are mobilizing efforts to collect assistance and provide support to those affected by the earthquake.

Countries including Norway, Germany, Japan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, as well as the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, have extended their condolences.

Former President Hamid Karzai and former Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Abdullah Abdullah, have also expressed their sadness over the earthquake and urged international organizations to offer assistance.