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Second ‘charity train’ by Turkey arrives Kabul

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KABUL: A total of 750 tons of emergency relief goods sent by second “charity train” from Turkey to Afghanistan has been delivered to authorities in the capital on Tuesday.

Earlier, Turkey has sent a “charity train” to Afghanistan carrying emergency goods, as the South Asian country faces harsh winter and a deteriorating economy that has plunged millions into poverty, on Jan 20.

Co-ordinated by Turkey’s state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and with the support of Turkish NGOs, medical aid packages on Monday were delivered to the Health Ministry of the interim Afghan administration in a ceremony.

The aid packages include food, winter clothing, medical supplies, wheelchairs, toys, and health supplies.

Counsellor at Turkey’s Embassy in Kabul Emre Manav stated that the aid will be delivered to 34 provinces of the country and that the aim is to help people in every corner of Afghanistan.

Attending the ceremony along with Manav were the Taliban’s Deputy Health Minister Habibullah Ahunzade and representatives of some Turkish institutions in Kabul.

In a speech, Manav said that since the Afghan people stood with the Turkish people in the past, they stand with the Afghan people who need help now.

The train left Ankara on January 27 and entered Afghanistan on February 7.

Afghanistan’s aid-dependent economy was already stumbling when the Taliban seized power last August amid the chaotic departure of US and NATO troops after 20 years.

The international community froze Afghanistan’s assets abroad and halted economic support, unwilling to work with the Taliban.

Aid groups have described Afghanistan’s situation as one of the world’s fastest-developing humanitarian disasters.

According to the UN humanitarian coordination office OCHA, half of Afghanistan’s population now faces acute hunger, while over 9 million people have been displaced and millions of children are out of school.

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

To make matters worse, US President Joe Biden signed an order on February 11 to free $7 billion in Afghan assets now frozen in the US, splitting Afghans’ money between 9/11 victims and humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.

The move will bankrupt Afghanistan’s central bank and throw the country further into an economic catastrophe.

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