Iran sends 4th batch of relief aid to quake-hit Afghanistan

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Iran has dispatched the fourth consignment of humanitarian aid to neighboring Afghanistan as the country is reeling from a series of devastating earthquakes that hit its western areas, particularly Herat Province, earlier this month.

Speaking to the IRNA news agency on Sunday, Hadi Ramezani, head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society in the city of Taybad, said the consignment, weighing 40 tons, was sent from Dowqarun border.

Collected by Taybad residents, the aid batch, including food items, blankets and carpets, will be distributed among the Afghan people in Herat’s Zinda Jan district, he added.

Ramezani also said that three consignments, containing more than 690 tons of donated goods, have already been dispatched to earthquake-stricken Afghanistan.

More truckloads of assistance, he noted, are ready to be sent to Zinda Jan.

Four powerful quakes in just over a week have killed more than 2,400 people in Afghanistan, according to the ruling Taliban administration.

They were among the world’s deadliest earthquakes this year, after February’s tremors in Turkey and Syria.

The initial quake measuring 6.3 magnitudes and numerous aftershocks flattened whole villages and destroyed hundreds of mud-brick homes in Heart on October 7. UN officials said more than 90 percent of the victims were women and children.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said the back-to-back earthquakes have added to “a mountain of hardship” facing Afghans.

“These are communities that are already barely able to feed themselves, and every one of these crises pounds them back into utter destitution,” said Philippe Kropf, head of communications at the World Food Programme Afghanistan.

“This comes on the back of nearly 40 years of near uninterrupted conflict,” he stressed, “of high levels of food insecurity, of five years of drought or drought-like conditions – and an economic downturn two years ago that has destroyed livelihoods and jobs.”

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