ISSN 2330-717X

Afghanistan: Humanitarian Crisis Following Earthquake – OpEd

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The devastation has occurred in Afghanistan due to 6.1 magnitude earthquake that has struck the region. Currently, In Afghanistan masses are going through difficult time whereas, earth quake has added more miseries. According to the report more than 1000 precious lives have been lost, huge number of injuries and destruction of property has also occurred.

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The terrible earthquake hit Afghanistan’s southeastern region reporting majority of causalities in the province Paktika. Unfortunately, the serious problem is caused by the earthquake turmoil and around the same time various parts of Afghanistan there are torrential rains causing floods.

Rescue operations are complicated by difficult conditions including heavy rain, landslides and many religions being nestled in an accessible hillside areas. It is pertinent to mention that the large parts of South Asia are seismically active because tectonic plate known as the Indian plate is pushing north into the Eurasian plate. So, this is a time of extreme suffering, pain and hardship for the Afghan people because of these natural calamities.

UN Secretary General António Guterres stated that UN is fully mobilized in providing initial support while emphasizing that it is the time for solidarity with the Afghans. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif extended his condolences and an offer of support to Afghan brethren, PM Shahbaz Sharif further elaborated that people in Pakistan share the grief and sorrow of their Afghan brethren and the relevant authorities are working to support Afghanistan in this time of need.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan sent his message of condolences and offer of support by government of Pakistan in terms of relief and humanitarian assistance. Ministry of foreign affairs Pakistan also issued a statement of solidarity with Afghan’s at this time of need.

As immediate response government of Pakistan has dispatched relief goods package and drugs to facilitate the effective population from the border crossing points of Angu Radha and Ghulam which are nearest to the affective areas whereas, more assistance is also assured in the coming days as extent of the damage would be clear.

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Pakistan is dispatching truckloads of aid to quake hit Afghanistan and humanitarian aid including tents, covers, blankets and medicines will be handed over to Afghan authorities. International communities is also seen to be in forefront in the provision of all kind of assistance and support in Afghanistan. 

Pakistan has been playing vital role since, the political change has happened in Afghanistan in last August. As most of the trained people who were working for the previous regime left Afghanistan or left their ministries, In the subsequent months Afghanistan faced a shortage of capacity building, trade, manpower and there Pakistan and other international communities helping Afghanistan in recent months in terms of capacity building.

In the process of providing training and capacity building to Afghan institutions in various fields. And one of those institutions is Afghan National Disaster Management Authority. It was positive to witness the authority with some extent of preliminary emergency preparedness. In this regard, Pakistan along with relief package also offered trainings and experienced sharing in collaboration with Pakistan’s relevant institution which is Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority.

Apart from commodity assistance, medicines and other things, Pakistan is also planning to establish a field hospital that will be taking care of any health ailment  that appear especially in post disaster conditions. Pakistan also plans to reconstruct the affected areas in light of the experience of disaster management of 2005 earthquake. 

Current state of hospitals and medical facilities in Afghanistan’s urban areas is not up to the mark and they face severe problems in terms of providing adequate medical treatment to the people around the affected areas. So, the organizations such as ICRC, WHO, UNDP and Pakistan being closest neighbor also is focusing to meet the medical needs of the affected people. The regional countries are seen to help in the calamity and so forth but they need to contribute more by playing their role for regional stability.

As, Afghanistan is also grappling with economic crisis and recent flooding in many regions has added difficulty for the Afghan masses. Since the U.S withdrawal we have seen that there has been a quite few problems for Taliban regime there have been demands coming from the international community in terms of the recognition of Taliban regime. However, yet the Taliban regime has been unable to fulfil these demands and reassurance required by the international community. It is necessary for the interim regime to transition being into a government to cope up the vulnerable situation prevailed in the country. 

Jawad Ahmed is an Islamabad based researcher having interest in Politics, Bilateralism and Strategic Studies.

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