India on Friday delivered the second shipment of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after the devastating earthquake that ravaged the country. More than 1,000 people were killed and 1,500 injured in the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that rocked Afghanistan on June 22.
Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs (PAI), JP Singh visited Afghanistan on June 23 to deliver the second batch of humanitarian aid after the first was delivered on Thursday. Humanitarian aid includes essential items like blankets, sleeping bags, ridge tents and mats. The aid was handed over to Taliban representatives by Singh, the MEA informed.
On Thursday, as a first response, India sent a technical team to Kabul to coordinate the first delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. The MEA said the team had been deployed to its embassy in Kabul, which has been vacant since August last year. The deployment is part of India’s efforts to “continue its engagement with the Afghan people”, the MEA said in a statement.
The Taliban hailed India’s support to help the people affected by the earthquake. In a statement, interim Taliban government spokesman Abdul Wahab Balkhi thanked New Delhi for its decision to “return the diplomats and technical team to their embassy in Kabul”.
The Kabul embassy remained largely vacant after the US withdrawal last year. However, New Delhi has continued to maintain its solidarity with the Afghan people, sending over 20,000 tonnes of wheat, 13 tonnes of medicine, winter clothes and over 5 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines as an aid. assistance.
Relief supplies reach earthquake-affected areas in Afghanistan
The Taliban regime is struggling to make ends meet for its population hit by the deadliest natural disaster in years, the Associated Press reported. In addition, heavy downpours made it difficult for rescuers to reach the worst affected districts in eastern Afghanistan. On the bright side, most search operations were completed on Wednesday and UN aid workers rushed to help Taliban rescuers retrieve those trapped in dire conditions. Meanwhile, much needed items have arrived in Kabul for distribution to 4,200 survivors in Giyan, Bermal, Zerok and Nika districts in Patrika and Khost provinces. UN aid workers have set up three supply centers in three districts to speed up the delivery process.
For the uninitiated, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan on June 22, killing at least 1,150 people and injuring more than 1,500. Rescuers overseeing operations, however, predicted the number deaths could increase in the days to come. At least 121 children were among those who died, said Mohamed Ayoya, representative of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).