Saudi Arabia delivers first batch of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

12:30 AM | 1 Jan, 2022
Saudi Arabia delivers first batch of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD – The first batch of the humanitarian aid promised by Saudi Arabia reached the Afghan capital of Kabul via Pakistan this week.

Afghanistan is facing an acute shortage of food and medicines after the Taliban took it over in mid-August.

The UN has been warning that nearly 23 million people — about 55 percent of the population in Afghanistan — are facing extreme levels of hunger, with nearly 9 million at the risk of famine as winter takes hold in the impoverished, landlocked country.

On December 19, Islamabad hosted the 17th Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers that focused on the looming economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The OIC agreed to establish a “humanitarian trust fund” to channel assistance to Afghanistan, appoint a special envoy on Afghanistan and work together with the UN in Afghanistan.

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“A total of 16 trucks carrying 360 tons of food and shelter arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul yesterday [Wednesday] traveling over the border from Pakistan,” the SPA reported. 

The aid was delivered by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and the shipment included “11,000 bags of flour, 5,500 food baskets, 3,593 blankets and 3,072 winter bags, meant for various Afghan governorates,” the report read.

Pakistan also sent a consignment of 1800 metric tons (MT) of wheat as humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing on Thursday.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement, “The consignment is part of the humanitarian package of Rs5 billion [nearly $28 million] for in-kind assistance for Afghanistan announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The package includes 50,000 metric tons of wheat, winter shelters and emergency medical supplies.”

It said the current humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan required immediate attention of the international community.

“It is critical that the world community upscale its efforts to reach out to the Afghan people on an urgent basis to help address the humanitarian crisis and stabilize the economic situation,” the statement read.

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