UK to provide £2.5m support package to Afghanistan after more than 1,000 people killed in earthquake

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the support will 'enable lifesaving supplies to be provided on the ground'

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The UK is providing £2.5 million to Afghanistan after a devastating earthquake killed more than 1,000 people and left many more without shelter.

Announcing the aid on Friday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said it will “enable lifesaving supplies to be provided on the ground” in hard-hit areas of the country’s south east.

Most of the support will go to the International Federation of the Red Cross, which is working in the affected provinces to provide shelter, medical supplies, water, sanitation and other emergency needs.

Some of the money will help the Norwegian Refugee Council provide shelter and cash assistance to vulnerable families.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss
A devastating earthquake killed more than 1,000 people in Afghanistan
A devastating earthquake killed more than 1,000 people in Afghanistan

The funds are coming from the UK’s aid fund for Afghanistan, which is £286 million this year.

Ms Truss said: “The recent earthquake is a tragedy for the people of Afghanistan. The scale of need was already severe before the earthquake struck, with more than half of the population requiring humanitarian assistance.

“UK support will enable lifesaving supplies to be provided on the ground.

“Our aid budget for Afghanistan is one of the UK’s largest bilateral programmes and we will continue to work urgently with our international partners to respond to the unfolding humanitarian crisis”.

The country of 38 million people was already experiencing a spiralling economic crisis that had plunged millions into poverty when the magnitude six quake struck on Wednesday, destroying thousands of homes.

There has been a scramble to get help to Paktika and Khost provinces after many international aid agencies pulled out of Afghanistan when the Taliban took power last year.