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Many survivors still waiting for aid in Paktika

AT News

KABUL: Relief effort in hard-hit remote Gayan district and other parts of Paktika province recently devastated by a deadly earthquake remains limited due to funding and access constraints.

Overwhelmed by the logistical complexities of issues, the Taliban are also grappling with inadequate funds as thousands are still in need of immediate aid.

Reports say that villagers in the quake zones have barely received help in digging out dead bodies. UN’s humanitarian co-ordination organization, OCHA, says more than 800 families are living out in the open.

Days after a deadly quake that devastated thousands of homes last Wednesday in Paktika and Khost and killed at least 1,150 people, there is despair and destruction everywhere and supplies of humanitarian aid are running short.

This is as the Taliban have called for foreign assistance and on Saturday appealed to Washington to unfreeze billions of dollars in Afghanistan’s currency reserves. The United Nations and an array of international aid groups and countries have mobilized to send help.

China pledged nearly $7.5 million US in emergency humanitarian aid on Saturday, joining nations including Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in dispatching a planeload of tents, towels, beds and other badly needed supplies to the quake-hit area.

UN Deputy Special Representative Ramiz Alakbarov toured the hard-hit Paktika province on Saturday to assess the damage and distribute food, medicine and tents. UN helicopters and trucks laden with bread, flour, rice and blankets have trickled into the stricken areas.

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