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Turkish ‘charity train’ reaches Afghanistan with aid supplies 

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KABUL: A special charity train carrying 750 tons of emergency goods from Turkey to Afghanistan has reached its destination in the north western Herat province.

The train was received, in a ceremony by Turkey’s Ambassador Cihad Erginay and acting Afghan government officials, according to the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), on Monday.

The aid will be distributed in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, the state agency tweeted.

The train left the Turkish capital Ankara late last month and traversed 4,168 kilometers (3,590 miles) via Iran and Turkmenistan to reach Afghanistan.

At least 11 humanitarian groups from Turkey under the umbrella of the state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) are supplying humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Around 12.9 million children in Afghanistan are in need of aid due to extreme weather conditions, according to Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Turkish Red Crescent head Kerem Kinik also visited Afghanistan last week and held high-level meetings to discuss the distribution of humanitarian aid among Afghans.

Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi called on Ankara to help it grow its international trade, so that it’s not so dependent on foreign aid, while meeting with the Turkish Red Crescent.

Aid groups describe Afghanistan’s plight as one of the world’s most rapidly growing humanitarian crises.

According to the UN, half of the population now faces acute hunger and over 9 million people have been displaced while millions of children are out of school.

Previously, the UN and its partners launched a $4.4 billion funding appeal to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan in 2022.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also warned that millions of Afghans are on the verge of death, urging the international community to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets and jump-start its banking system.

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