At least 1,000 killed and hundreds more injured in Afghan earthquake

The UK is providing £2.5m in aid after the devastating disaster.

At least 1,000 people killed and hundreds more injured in Afghan earthquake Red Cross
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck a remote and mountainous region of southeastern Afghanistan early Wednesday

The UK is providing £2.5m 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.

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