IN-DEPTH / IN-DEPTH
Earthquake relief supplies from Chinese NGOs and charities arrive in Afghanistan after official aid
Published: Jul 01, 2022 01:45 AM
Aid to earthquake victims from Chinese charity One Heart Sphere Charity Foundation in Paktika Province, Afghanistan Photo: Courtesy of Qiu Xu
Aid to earthquake victims from Chinese charity One Heart Sphere Charity Foundation in Paktika Province, Afghanistan Photo: Courtesy of Qiu Xu

Earthquake relief supplies from Chinese charities and NGOs arrived in Afghanistan as emergency humanitarian aid for victims of the deadly earthquake in Paktika and Khost provinces, following $7.47 million in emergency humanitarian assistance by the Chinese government and aid from local Chinese companies.

Beijing-based charity One Heart Sphere Charity Foundation sent five trucks on Thursday to Afghanistan's Paktika Province, carrying rice, flour, oil, biscuits and other daily necessities for 600 families, as well as 500 hygiene care kits for women, 312 boxes of baby formula as well as emergency medicine for local rescue medical teams. The 100,000 yuan ($14,926) aid was put together in one week through fundraising and material procurement.

Bags of flour donated by Chinese charity Friends of Hindu Kush Organization to earthquake victims in Afghanistan Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong
Bags of flour donated by Chinese charity Friends of Hindu Kush Organization to earthquake victims in Afghanistan Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong

Another Afghan-registered Chinese-founded charity, Friends of Hindu Kush Organization (FHKO), also sent four tons of flour to the remoter region of Afghan Dubai, in the Khost Province, where there is little international assistance and about half of the victims have not received any aid.

After the earthquake, China did its best to meet the urgent needs of the Afghan people, immediately providing 50 million yuan ($7.47 million) of emergency humanitarian assistance to the disaster-hit areas in the country, the largest and fastest aid provided to Afghanistan.

As of June 29, three batches of relief supplies had arrived in Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said at a press meeting on Thursday, noting that China is coordinating closely with the Afghan interim government to ensure that relief supplies are delivered to the victims as soon as possible to help see the Afghan people through their difficulties.

The 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Afghanistan on June 22 is the deadliest in more than 20 years, causing at least 1,500 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries while destroying more than 3,000 houses.

"We ask local volunteers who have been studying in China and can speak Chinese to hand out the materials to the most needy victims as soon as possible, and to learn more about their updated needs to prepare further batches of donations of supplies," Qiu Xu, the founder of the One Heart Sphere Charity Foundation, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The charity is also working with the local Afghan Red Crescent Society to further provide special care for women and infants. The Chinese charity has conducted six consecutive deliveries of aid to Afghanistan since last November.

The FHKO, also raised money in China and locally procured about 160 bags of flour for 160 families.

The charity's relief team finally arrived at a seriously hit county in Khost Province on Thursday after six hours of arduous journey and distributed the relief supplies to about half of the victims' families in the county who had not received any assistance yet, Wang Duanyong, the co-leader of the FHKO, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Wang met with the governor of Khost Province and officials from the provincial health department who thanked Chinese NGOs for their assistance and sent a team of armed guards to help deliver the supplies.

A collapsed house after the earthquake in Paktika Province, Afghanistan Photo: Courtesy of Qiu Xu
A collapsed house after the earthquake in Paktika Province, Afghanistan Photo: Courtesy of Qiu Xu

Khost is one of the three provinces most affected by the earthquake. However, compared with the Paktika Province, Khost has received less attention and global assistance partly due to its rugged terrain and inconvenient access that prevent more supplies to reach out, Zheng Gang, co-leader of the charity who initiated the fundraising campaign, told The Global Times.

About 600 to 700 households in the county were affected, with 27 dead, 69 seriously injured and more than 600 lightly injured, the county head told Wang, noting that the damage is very serious due to the relatively poor quality of the local housing. Local infrastructure and communication equipment are also somewhat scarce, Zheng noted.

Both charities say more supplies and aid are on the way.

China vows to continue to monitor the disaster and post-disaster reconstruction in Afghanistan and is willing to provide more support based on the needs of the Afghan people, Zhao said on Tuesday's press briefing.