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Focus turns to quake aid, as rescues continue



(Last Updated On: February 11, 2023)

Emergency crews made a series of dramatic rescues in Turkey on Friday, pulling several people from the rubble four days after a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed more than 23,000 in Turkey and Syria.

Temperatures remain below freezing across the large region, and many people have no place to shelter.

The Turkish government has distributed millions of hot meals, as well as tents and blankets, but is still struggling to reach many people in need, Associated Press reported.

The United Nations has pledged a $25 million grant for people in earthquake-stricken areas of Syria. That’s in addition to a $25 million grant announced earlier this week for emergency operations in both Turkey and Syria.

U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said Friday the new grant from the U.N. emergency fund would help meet the urgent needs of hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said around 130 urban search-and-rescue teams from around the world are working in Turkey, and another 57 teams are on their way.

In response to Syrian critics who say the U.N. isn’t doing enough to help find victims, the spokesperson said the U.N. does not have its own search-and-rescue teams. Instead, it has a coordinating role through its disaster assessment teams.

A U.N. disaster assessment team is in Syria and deploying to government-controlled Aleppo, Homs and Latakia, Dujarric said. A second U.N. aid convoy entered Syria’s rebel-held enclave on Friday from Turkey, bringing shelter and non-food items.

Syria’s state news agency SANA says paramedics have succeeded in pulling a mother and her two adult children from under the rubble of a building in the coastal town of Jableh.

The three were immediately rushed away in ambulances late Friday, the fifth day after the earthquake that hit Turkey and northern Syria, killing more than 23,000 people.

Although experts say trapped people can live for a week or more, the chances of finding survivors are dimming. The rescues Friday in Syria and Turkey have provided fleeting moments of joy and relief amid the misery gripping the shattered region, where morgues and cemeteries are overwhelmed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the powerful earthquake that ravaged parts of southeast Turkey as “one of the greatest disasters our nation has faced in its history.”

Touring the province of Adiyaman on Friday, Erdogan said search-and-rescue efforts would continue until no one is left trapped beneath the rubble.

He renewed a promise to rebuild the area within the year, and also said the government would subsidize rents for one year for people unwilling to stay in tents.


Over 3,600 boxes of silkworms distributed to Herat farmers this year



(Last Updated On: May 29, 2023)

Herat Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock says more than 3,500 boxes of silkworms have been distributed to farmers this year in Zinda Jan, Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts of the province.

This directorate has said that 80 percent of silk work is done in Zinda Jan district.

“We were able to grow about 3,600 boxes with the help of institutions, about 80 percent of which we have grown in Zinda Jan district,” said Khalil Ahmad, general director of Herat agriculture directorate.

“About 20 percent of silkworms have been grown in Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts, which has had good results and the financial status of the farmers has improved.”

The local officials said most work in the silk industry is done by women.

“Almost 60 percent of the silk industry is done by women,” said Ahmad Shah Qawami, head of the silk workers’ union for Zinda Jan district.

This year, the families who are engaged in raising silkworms hope to have good production, now that the silk season is over and many are working to separate the silk thread.

However, the farmers are not satisfied with this year’s market conditions.

“The silk market is weak this year, it was good last year, it was very advanced,” said a silk worker.

The silk industry in Herat has a history dating back 600 years, and many families have preserved this ancient profession.

Silkworms usually feed on the leaves of mulberry trees, which grow in these regions. The industry also provides a livelihood to hundreds of men and women in the area.

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Two die of Congo fever in Balkh Central Hospital



(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

Two patients died of Congo fever in Abu Ali Sinai Balkhi Hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif city, health officials said.

Reports of an outbreak of Congo fever have been recorded in a number of provinces in the north of the country.

Najibullah Tawana, head of public health of Balkh, announced the death of two people in the meeting of sectorial coordination to prevent and reduce diseases between humans and animals in the province.

“Last week, 10 cases of Congo disease were confirmed in Faryab and Jawzjan and [patients were] transferred to Abu Ali Sina Balkhi seminary hospital, but two of them have died,” said Tawana.
Meanwhile, Mawolavi Mohammad Nasim Abid, the deputy mayor of Mazar-e-Sharif, said that they monitor the cleanliness and compliance of butchers every day, and that animals are slaughtered in slaughterhouses built by this department.

According to him; standard facilities have been established for the slaughter of chickens to prevent the spread of various diseases.

Mawolavi Zabihullah Noorani, the head of Balkh culture and information, also asked the media to inform the people about the prevention of this disease and inform them about the harm of this deadly disease.

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Two security force members killed in Pakistan suicide bombing



(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

Two members of Pakistan’s security forces were killed and 19 others injured on Saturday when a suicide bomber riding an explosive-laden motorcycle targeted their convoy in the Chahkan area of Dera Ismail Khan district, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, an official said.

Two security personnel were killed and 19 others were injured. Three of the wounded were said to be in critical condition, officials said.

They said the injured were transferred to the Combined Military Hospital in Peshawar.

Local media reports the entire area has been cordoned off and law-enforcement agencies have launched an investigation into the attack.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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