Heavy rains in Afghanistan and floods kill 22 people and destroy hundreds of homes

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Heavy rains and floods killed 22 people and injured 40, according to the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority. Heavy flooding has also destroyed hundreds of homes and damaged crops in Afghanistan, which is already facing a humanitarian crisis, a disaster management official said on Thursday.

The Taliban government, which is struggling to cope with the disaster that has affected more than a third of its provinces, will seek help from an international relief organization, officials said.

“Due to floods and storms in 12 provinces, 22 people died and 40 injured,” said Hassibullah Shekhani, communications and information officer at the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority.

The rains and floods were particularly severe in the western provinces of Badghis and Faryab and in the northern province of Baghlan.

Afghanistan has suffered from drought in recent years, possibly aggravated by climate change, with low crop yields raising fears of severe food shortages. The weather has exacerbated problems of poverty caused by decades of war, then a drop in foreign aid and the freezing of overseas assets after the Taliban took power and the withdrawal of US-led forces in August.

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Shekhani said 500 homes were destroyed, 2,000 damaged, 300 head of cattle killed and some 3,000 acres of crops damaged.

He said the International Committee of the Red Cross was helping and officials would contact other international organizations for help.

The international community is wondering how to help this country of some 40 million inhabitants without benefiting the Taliban.

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On Thursday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced his support for Afghan citizens saying, “We stand with the Afghan people at this difficult hour and we will provide them with all possible assistance.

Prime Minister Sharif also expressed his sadness at the loss of precious lives and called on the international community to provide emergency assistance to the Afghan people.

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“I urge the international community to urgently help the Afghan people who are already suffering. Pakistan will also extend its assistance to our Afghan brothers and sisters,” he said on Twitter.

Reuters contributed to this article

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