‘It is terrible to see the scale of destruction and suffering caused by the earthquake in eastern Afghanistan. The situation is critical, and time is of the essence to rescue people. The priority is to save lives,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
Norway is now providing NOK 5 million for emergency life-saving assistance, to be channelled through the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The survivors will have varying needs, from medical care to food, water and shelter.
‘My thoughts and sympathies go to all those who have lost loved ones or have loved ones who are still unaccounted for. The earthquake could not have come at a worse time. This disaster will exacerbate the situation for a hard-hit civilian population already suffering the effects of a humanitarian, economic and human rights crisis. In times of crisis, it is always the poorest people who are most severely affected,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.
Norway has already provided NOK 110 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan through international organisations in 2022. In addition, comes support through Norwegian humanitarian partner organisations. No support provided by Norway will go to the Taliban regime.
‘It is vital that the Taliban ensure that humanitarian organisations have safe and unimpeded access to the affected area,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.
The support provided by Norway will be taken from the humanitarian reserve, which has been set aside to make it possible to respond rapidly to new acute crises or underfunded crises, as the need arises throughout the year. This year, the humanitarian reserve amounts to NOK 150 million.