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Kazakhstan Sends Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan's Earthquake Zones

By Vusala Abbasova October 9, 2023

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A series of strong earthquakes, with its epicentre located approximately 18 miles northeast of the Zinda Jan District in the Herat province of Afghanistan, has claimed more than 2,000 lives and destroyed or damaged over 1,000 buildings. / Omid Haqjoo / AP

Kazakhstan will send a humanitarian aid, along with dispatching rescue teams, to Afghanistan after a series of powerful earthquakes hit the western part of the country on Saturday.

“In accordance with the instructions of the head of state Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Republic of Kazakhstan will provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan,” KazTAG quoted the report issued by the government.

Kazakhstan is gearing up to send essential supplies including food products, tents, medicines, and clothing to the earthquake-stricken regions. The humanitarian aid is to be transported via air and railway. At the same time, highly trained Kazakh rescue teams, complete with canine units, will be deployed to assist in the ongoing rescue efforts.

A series of strong earthquakes, with its epicentre located approximately 18 miles northeast of the Zinda Jan District in the Herat province of Afghanistan, has claimed more than 2,000 lives and destroyed or damaged over 1,000 buildings.

According to the WHO, the region had at least eight aftershocks within five hours, including one with a magnitude of 5.5 just minutes after the first quake, one with a magnitude of 6.3 around 20 minutes later, and one with a magnitude of 5.9 just about an hour later.

Rescue operations are underway to save people trapped under the rubble. These earthquakes are not unprecedented in this region due to the geological dynamics near the Hindu Kush mountain range.

Afghanistan, already grappling with a dire humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the recent political changes, has received continued support from Kazakhstan. Since 2001, Kazakhstan has provided significant financial aid, totalling $80 million. This aid has been directed towards crucial sectors such as education, food supplies, clothing, and infrastructure development. Kazakhstan's steadfast commitment is further demonstrated through an educational program launched in 2009, which has trained thousands of Afghan students in Kazakh educational institutions, with an allocation of $50 million.

Kazakhstan has historically been a major supplier of flour and grain to Afghanistan, underlining the deep economic ties between the two nations. Despite challenges, Kazakhstan remains dedicated to maintaining and expanding bilateral trade. Recent changes in the political landscape affected trade between the two countries, resulting in a decline in trade volume. However, Kazakhstan remains resolute in its efforts to restore and enhance economic cooperation, benefiting both nations.