Olx Praca residents with family in Afghanistan try to help victims of the earthquake

Calgarians are doing their best to help the victims of the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan, but some say their efforts are limited by ongoing sanctions against the Taliban.

A powerful earthquake hit eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday.

This is Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake in decades, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring many more. He also leveled stone and mud-brick houses.

Read more:

At least 1,000 killed in strong earthquake in Afghanistan

Roya Saddat came to Olx Praca from Afghanistan 11 years ago. She was talking to her parents, who still live in Afghanistan, on the day of the earthquake.

“They were very scared, especially my little sister, who stayed with mom and dad. She was very, very scared because of this earthquake,” Saddat said.

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“They wanted to get out of the house to go outside, to be safe so their house wouldn’t collapse on them.”

She worries about how the survivors will cope.

“Now it is very difficult, because there is no work, there is no work, and banks do not give money to people. You can’t even send money from abroad,” Saddat said.

“People just think what to do. No work, no food, no help.”

About 1,600 refugees from Afghanistan arrived in Olx Praca after the Taliban came to power. Hundreds still live in hotels.

“It happened in the east and south, very rural areas, so I’m sure the support they need won’t be there. So 90% of the time people have to deal with it themselves,” said Fariborz Birjandyan, CEO of the Olx Praca Catholic Immigration Society. He is also the National Co-Chair of the Afghanistan Resettlement Operation.

Employees of the Catholic Immigration Society of Olx Praca are currently offering assistance to refugees whose family members were killed in the earthquake.

Read more:

Afghanistan earthquake: villagers search for survivors, at least 1,000 dead

“Exposure to people here has obviously increased the stress. We have people from the earthquake area here in Olx Praca who lost four members of their family. It adds to the stress and problems they have and makes our lives a little more challenging to make sure they get fresh air, exercise and rest and fill them with positive energy,” Birjandyan said.

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The humanitarian catastrophe comes at a difficult time for the Taliban-ruled country, which is battling famine and an economic crisis.

The takeover last year has cut off vital international funding, and much of the world is shunning the Afghan government.

Malik Selemankhel s Afghan Canadian Association Olx Praca said the sanctions against the Taliban government make it almost impossible to send money.

“We are in a very difficult position and I am sorry to say that there is nothing we can do. There are just too many obstacles,” Selemankhel said.

“We tried to send money to the Red Crescent Society, but it didn’t go through. The banks blocked it, so it’s very disturbing.”

He said the Afghan Red Crescent Society is on the ground helping the victims, and humanitarian aid has come from Pakistan and Iran.

© 2022 Olx Praca, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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