An Afghan aid agency appealed for cash for survivors of the last week’s deadly earthquake in the country's east, which killed more than 1,000 people and rendered hundreds of others homeless.
The deputy head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), Mullah Noordden Turaby, told a news conference in Kabul on Monday that the relief agency had no place to store food.
He said cash would be more useful to survivors struggling to make ends meet and the ARCS could help distribute money if donors were worried about transparency. "People ask for cash in the areas, they say they've received enough aid."
Nevertheless, the United Nations and several other countries have sent aid to the affected area, Turaby said.
The UN humanitarian office (OCHA) reported progress in its latest bulletin late on Sunday, saying a shortage of tents had been resolved and groups were distributing various aid.
The Wednesday earthquake reportedly killed over 1,000 people and injured 2,000. More than 10,000 houses were destroyed. Among the dead were 155 children, with nearly 250 children injured and 65 orphaned.
The death toll and the trail of destruction made it Afghanistan's deadliest earthquake in two decades.
The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck early Wednesday in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.
The town of Gayan, close to the epicenter, sustained significant damage with most of its mud-walled buildings damaged or completely collapsed.
Poor communications and a lack of proper roads are hampering relief efforts in a country already grappling with a humanitarian crisis.
The disaster came as US-led sanctions on Afghan government bodies and banks have cut off most direct assistance.
The Taliban have urged the United States to unfreeze Afghanistan's assets after the earthquake.
In February, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order that would seize the Afghan assets and move half to a fund purportedly designated for humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.
However, Biden nodded to legal wrangling with some 9/11 families pursuing claims against those assets as the reason for not trying to free the other half of Afghan funds allegedly for the Afghan people.
The freeze has continued amid Afghanistan's economy being on the verge of collapse, inflation soaring, and millions of Afghans on the brink of starvation.
However, Washington's callous indifference to humanitarian crises is known to all and sundry.
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