USAID pledges ‘nearly $55m’ for Afghan earthquake victims

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The US State Department said the US Agency for International Development (USAID) would provide ‘nearly $55 million’ in humanitarian assistance for the people affected by the recent earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan.

“In response, the United States will provide nearly $55 million in additional immediate humanitarian assistance through the US Agency for International Development to urgently reach those most affected by the natural disaster. This new funding brings total US humanitarian assistance to over $774 million in the last year,” the State Department said in a statement.

The Islamic Emirate welcomed the aid but said it would be more effective if it was provided through Afghan government institutions. “We welcome the aid announced by the US Department of State and hope the aid is provided properly,” said Mohammad Nasim Haqqani, a spokesman for the Ministry of Disaster Management.

This comes as residents of Giyan district of southeastern Paktika province, where the devastating earthquake killed and injured hundreds of people, called for relief aid.

“I have spent 350,000 (Pakistan rupees) on this house and now I do not have the capacity to rebuild it,” said Afzal, a resident of Paktika. “There are families which lost 20 to 25 people and families which lost 10 to 15 members and there are also families which did not lose anyone but their houses were destroyed. —Tolonews

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