Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan file reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban took over. Here, a law student in Kabul reports on the complications Taliban governance is already causing for earthquake relief after an earthquake killed and injured hundreds in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday morning . For reasons of confidentiality and security, we retain the name of our correspondent. The text has only been slightly modified to respect the author’s voice.

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook the southern region of Afghanistan on Wednesday morning. The earthquake affected Khost and Paktika province more than other parts of the country, destroying homes and killing hundreds.

Originally 25 dead and over 40 injured were reported, but the numbers changed quickly and a second report increased the number to around 250 dead and around 180 injured. In recent hours the death toll has been reported to be much higher, and by late afternoon in Kabul the reported figures were around 1,000 dead and 610 injured. 8Am newspaper, citing local Taliban officials, puts the number of casualties at 2,500 in just two districts of Paktika province, Barmal and Khogyani.

The Taliban initially approved 1 billion af in aid to the affected areas, but Afghanistan International is already reporting that the aid allocation has been cut by a tenth, to just 100 million af.

Inconsistent aid figures, the absence of any type of data management and the absolute absence of decision-making level professionals among the Taliban have made the situation more than a failure. The lack of professionals in a government system is felt more than ever in a disaster like this; therefore, no specific plan exists to help the homeless and injured.

Apart from the cruelty of nature and the ignorance of a group whose competence in governance could not be less, the Taliban leaders are profiting from this crisis and the figures seem to be doctored to garner international aid as they cut their own emergency aid contribution to one-tenth of its original amount. It is an act of utter apathy and immorality. This will bring hesitation and confusion and place an undue burden on humanitarian organizations and NGOs wanting to make plans and approve budgets to send aid in a hurry. The delay this causes in the implementation of proper relief efforts will lead to the deaths of innocent citizens who could perhaps be saved if they could receive medical aid and shelter in time.

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