Feature: China's aid eases misery of quake-affected Afghans in chilly winter

Updated: February 21, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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HERAT, Afghanistan, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Surviving the devastating earthquake last October, Ghulam Reza, a resident of Gazara locality in west Afghanistan's Herat province, thanked China for sending assistance to the quake-affected families ahead of the chilly winter.

"I am thankful to China for sending assistance to our area that has covered about 50 to 60 families," Reza told Xinhua recently.

Around 800 families live in Gazara, according to Reza, and 90 percent of the villagers are living in poverty.

A 6.3 magnitude tremor and several aftershocks struck Herat province last October, causing thousands of casualties and rendering thousands of others homeless.

Many families have no floor covering to sit on and no dress to wear, Reza said.

"You may know that in Afghanistan each family is made up of eight or nine members with one bread earner, who is either an old man or a widow who works and hardly can buy food and clothes to support his or her family in the chilly winter," Reza said.

"There could be a catastrophe in the absence of humanitarian assistance."

Mohammad, another quake-affected victim, expressed gratitude to China and anyone providing aid to the quake-affected families in Herat.

"God bless China and any other country that assists us, and assists the poor people. We are thankful over (their) assistance," Mohammad, 77, told Xinhua.

"I have received two blankets that keep us warm against cold spells in the winter and we are happy," the bread earner of a seven-member family said.

Mohammad Musa Ashari, Herat's provincial director for the natural disaster management authority, said China is a good neighbor of Afghanistan.

"China is a good and friendly neighbor that sent aid to the quake-affected families on time in the hours of need. The assistance which includes tents reached on time and was distributed to the needy people," Ashari told Xinhua.

The first batch of earthquake relief supplies donated by the Chinese government arrived at Afghanistan's Herat International Airport on Oct. 15, 2023 and the second batch arrived on Nov. 16.

Editor: Yang Yifan