In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Herat province, the Australian government has pledged $1 million to support the people of Afghanistan, as confirmed by the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The earthquake has exacerbated the already dire humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where 29.2 million people are facing desperate circumstances.
Australia’s contribution will be channeled through the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF), overseen by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as stated in the official announcement.
The AHF is dedicated to providing emergency shelter, healthcare, food, and protection for the most vulnerable populations, with the assurance that no Australian funding will benefit or legitimize the Taliban regime.
It’s noteworthy that Australia had already committed $50 million for the year 2023-24 to address the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong, expressed their concern, stating, “We are deeply troubled by the loss of life and destruction in Afghanistan. Australia’s support will be administered through independent agencies to deliver fundamental necessities such as shelter, food, and medicine. Australia stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.”
Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy, emphasized the severity of the situation: “This earthquake has compounded the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where almost 30 million people are already in desperate need. We are collaborating closely with our humanitarian partners who have initiated relief efforts, deploying medical and trauma support to regional hospitals, along with providing emergency shelter, supplies, and food assistance to the affected regions.”