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‘Heartbreaking’: Afghan-Canadians say earthquake could make humanitarian crisis worse

Some Afghan-Canadians say they are worried Wednesday’s magnitude 6 earthquake in eastern Afghanistan could heighten the country’s already dire humanitarian crisis.

Afghan state media says the earthquake’s death toll is now 1,150, with about 3,000 people injured, after a 4.2 magnitude aftershock took more lives today.

Adeena Niazi, the founder and executive director of the Toronto-based Afghan Women’s Organization, says Afghanistan was already facing the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history after the Taliban took control of the country last year, and an earthquake on top of that is “unbelievable” and “heartbreaking.”

Niazi says she is concerned the international community may not rush to aid earthquake victims in Afghanistan out of hesitance to hand funds and resources over to the Taliban-controlled government.

Nooria Kamran, the co-founder and executive director of Children Without Borders, says her organization has personnel on the ground delivering food packages and funds for medical treatment in Paktika province, the earthquake’s epicentre.

Kamran says the province’s rural landscape is making it more difficult for organizations to deliver aid.

Global Affairs Canada says it is not aware of any Canadians affected by the earthquake.

— With files from the Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2022.

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