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EU to send €1m in aid to Afghanistan after earthquake – POLITICO

The European Union is allocating €1 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in response to the deadly earthquake that hit the country on Wednesday.

The ruling Taliban – a hardline Islamist group that seized power by force when Western allies left Afghanistan in August 2021 – have appealed for international help, as they struggle to deal with the aftermath of the the catastrophe.

More than 1,000 people were killed and at least 1,500 injured in the 5.9 magnitude earthquake, the deadliest to hit Afghanistan in 20 years. The death toll is expected to rise further in the coming days.

The EU funding will be implemented by humanitarian groups active in the country, including non-governmental organizations and the United Nations, the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department said in a statement on Thursday.

“Our trusted humanitarian partners will help those most affected. The EU is ready to provide further assistance,” said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.

The funding will be used to meet the “most immediate needs” of Afghans, such as medical assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene services, shelter and protection services.

António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, said in a statement on Wednesday that the UN was “fully mobilized” in Afghanistan. “Our teams are already on the ground to assess needs and provide initial support,” he said.