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Aid needed in Afghanistan after deadly Earthquake

By: Evan Yang

In the middle of the night on June 22, a magnitude 4.8 earthquake struck the Paktika and Khost provinces in southeastern Afghanistan. The Afghan government estimates that more than 1000 died, while the United Nations gives slightly better numbers at 770 killed. However, this does not account for the thousands of homes destroyed and people displaced. Residents of the area have been forced to take shelter in tarp tents and other makeshift housing.

This disaster has pushed people and the government to supply aid to thousands.

Humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have taken action to provide critical supplies such as food, blankets, soap, and tents and tarpaulins.

Afghan citizens have also taken action by collecting necessities. One such person is Parwiz Hamdard. In the capital of Kabul, he is collecting anything people can spare. Hamdard says “It makes us so happy because people here are very poor. But still, Afghans come and donate for their people.”

The earthquake has also forced the United States into a difficult position with regard to the Biden administration’s stance on the Taliban, which recently took over the Afghan state. The United States has sent more than a billion dollars to humanitarian organizations within Afghanistan, but will not directly aid the government.

One of the reasons that the earthquake was so deadly despite being of moderate force is the location. In hard-hit villages like Geyan, the only way for help to arrive is over winding mountain roads. Houses there are also built with masonry or mud, which do not hold up against the force of earthquakes. The fact that the quake struck at night, when most were asleep, also contributed to the high number of casualties.

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