A second “charity train” carrying 920 tons of emergency goods under the coordination of the Turkish government reached Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The 45-car train that left from the country’s capital Ankara on Feb. 11, was received in a ceremony by Turkey’s Consul General Sinan Ilhan, Maarif Foundation’s Afghanistan Coordinator Salih Sagir, representatives of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (AFAD), Turkish and Afghan Red Crescents, and of some Turkish NGOs.
Acting Afghan government officials also attended the ceremony that took place at the Torghundi border located in the northwestern Herat province.
At least 11 humanitarian groups from Turkey, under the umbrella of the state-run AFAD, are supplying humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, which is facing a food crunch and is in need of emergency aid.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, AFAD’s Burhan Aslan said the second train included food, blankets, clothes, medical supplies, and health supplies.
Noting that the aid materials will be packed and made ready for distribution to 34 Afghan provinces, Aslan said the unloading of items from the train is underway.
He also said the distribution of packages from the first train that arrived in Afghanistan on Feb. 7 is continuing, while the distribution in over 20 provinces has been completed so far.
The train traversed 4,168 kilometers (3,590 miles) via Iran and Turkmenistan to reach Afghanistan.
Aid groups describe Afghanistan’s plight as one of the world’s most rapidly growing humanitarian crises.
According to the UN, half the population now faces acute hunger, over 9 million people have been displaced, and millions of children are out of school.
Previously, the UN and its partners launched a $4.4 billion funding appeal to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan in 2022.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also warned that millions of Afghans are on the verge of death, urging the international community to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets and jump-start its banking system.