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Afghan agency says earthquake survivors need money; Enough help at the moment

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An Afghan aid agency on Monday appealed to survivors of the recent earthquake in the southeast of the country to provide cash for the survivors of the recent earthquake in the southeast, saying it has enough relief items such as food and tents.

“People are asking for money in the areas and saying they have received enough aid,” Mullah Noureddin al-Turabi, deputy head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, told a news conference in Kabul.

Afghanistan’s most destructive earthquake in decades hit a remote area in the southeast near the Pakistani border last Wednesday, killing at least 1,000 people, injuring 2,000 and destroying 10,000 homes.

Among the dead were 155 children, and nearly 250 children and 65 orphans were injured, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

The disaster represents a major test for the leaders of the hardline Taliban movement in Afghanistan, who have been shunned by many foreign governments over human rights concerns since they seized power last year.

In addition, sanctions against Afghan government agencies and banks cut off most direct aid to a country that was facing a humanitarian crisis, including famine, even before the 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck.

However, the United Nations and several other countries sent aid to the affected area. Al-Turabi said the Afghan Red Crescent Society did not have a place to store food and they had enough tents for shelter.

He said the money would be more beneficial to survivors struggling to make ends meet, and the Afghan Red Crescent Society could help distribute the money if donors are concerned about transparency.

The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs reported progress in its latest bulletin late Sunday night, saying that the tent shortage has been resolved and the groups are distributing various aid including food, hygiene kits and money.

However, she said many logistical problems remain, including limited communications as a result of broken mobile phone networks and poor road conditions in some areas.

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