AT LEAST 1,570 people have been killed and almost 6,000 injured in floods and earthquakes that have struck Afghanistan in the last two months, according to a Taliban official.
The natural disasters have caused damage estimated at $2 billion to infrastructure and property, Suhail Shaheen, a senior Taliban official, said Saturday on WhatsApp.
Flash floods have occurred in more than 20 provinces, washing away 635,000 acres of agricultural land and completely or partially destroying more than 35,000 houses and 4,000 solar panels, he said.
In a fundraising event held on Sep. 1 in Kabul, the Taliban’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, pleaded for international assistance and requested funding to assist displaced people.
The calamities are exacerbating the country’s already dire situation, with the UN reporting that almost 23 million people, or half of the country’s population, are facing acute hunger. Afghanistan’s economy is in free fall after an abrupt cut in international aid, which accounted for 40% of it gross domestic product, and the UN says it will shrink 5% this year.
The latest floods and quakes are the worst natural disasters to hit the nation since a landslide in 2014 killed at least 2,000 people in the northeastern Badakhshan province.