ISLAMABAD: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) launched a project on Tuesday to dispatch 200 trucks carrying food and winter kits for the people of Afghanistan amid the economic meltdown of their country since the departure of international forces in August.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan prompted the United States and other donor states to cut off financial assistance to the country and isolate it from the global financial system which paralyzed its banks.
According to the United Nations, nearly 23 million Afghans face extreme levels of hunger, with nine million at risk of famine.
“The kingdom is sending 200 trucks of relief goods which will ease off some of the problems faced by Afghan people,” Pakistan’s Senate chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani told Arab News after attending the ceremony of sending relief goods to Afghanistan.
He applauded the kingdom for calling the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s special session on Afghanistan and supporting Pakistan in successfully organizing it.
“It was indeed a great gesture from the Saudi leadership that always remains at the forefront of helping the Muslim ummah,” he added.
Sanjrani urged the international community to come forward and help the people of Afghanistan at a time when their country was at a crucial juncture.
“This is not just our issue as Muslims,” he continued. “It is an issue for the entire humanity. Everyone should join hands with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to ensure Afghanistan’s stability.”
Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki maintained the people of Afghanistan needed urgent help and the kingdom was keen to support them.
“Saudi Arabia already sent six airplanes full of relief goods directly to Kabul last week,” he told Arab News. “With the help of the Pakistani government now, we are sending relief items that will be carried by more than 200 trucks to Afghanistan and will reach there within the next 10 days.”
Al-Malki thanked Pakistani government for facilitating the convoy of relief goods to Kabul.
“The kingdom has pledged one billion Saudi riyals to help the people of Afghanistan through OIC humanitarian trust fund and will try to do more,” he added.
The director of KSRelief in Pakistan Dr. Khaled Muhammad Al-Othmani said 30,000 food packages and 10,000 non-food winter kits would help poor and deserving people living in Afghanistan.
“The project will benefit about 280,000 people in Afghanistan,” he told Arab News. “We have coordinated with the Afghan government and Red Crescent society for the distribution of this aid in different parts of the country.”
He added the first batch of 16 trucks would go to Kabul while others would travel to Herat, Kandahar, Mizar-e-sharif, Jalalabad and other areas of Afghanistan.
“It is the first convoy,” he continued. “We will send more consignments after this gets distributed among Afghan people.”