Ghani pledges relief fund for avalanche affected families
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said that a relief fund would be set up for the victims and affected families of avalanches that left over 260 persons dead and hundreds of families displaced.
The death toll from a series of avalanches and flash floods rose to 260 on Friday, with the bulk of deaths coming from central Panjsher province, where above 200 lost their lives, including women and children.
The Afghanistan cabinet announced a three-day national mourning to express solidarity with families who lost their beloved ones to avalanches in several parts of the country, a statement from the Presidential Palace said on Saturday.
In his television address to the nation, the president said: "The natural disaster caused devastation to the lives and infrastructure and there is dire need for assistance."
Ghani on Saturday said in his address that latest situation at home and tragic deaths caused by avalanches amid incessant snowfall forced him to postpone his Iran’s visit. He said as many as 287 Afghans have been killed, 143 wounded and 1,248 homes destroyed in the natural disasters across the country.
“I prefer to stay at home with my people at this tragic moment,” the president said. He thanked his Iranian counterpart for extending him an invitation. He would visit the neighboring country soon.
As a gesture of solidarity, Pakistan dispatched two planes of relief assistance for the Afghan people affected by recent avalanches in different parts of the country.
A statement from the Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul said that two C-130 planes arrived at Kabul airport on Saturday carrying tents, blankets, warm cloths, medicines and essential food items to help the disaster-hit people of Afghanistan on behalf of the government, army and people of Pakistan.
Ghani said that he had issued directives for setting up a relief fund, which would help individuals and global fraternity to donate for affected families.
The intensify of natural disaster suspended electricity supply to the capital Kabul and other provinces near the Salang Pass connecting Kabul with northern part of the country.
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