Deputy Secretary of the Japanese Government, Seiji Kihara, announced a humanitarian mission to Afghanistan following Wednesday morning's earthquake that has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people. An additional 1,500 have been injured in the aftermath of the quake.

According to a UN report, about 2,000 homes were destroyed by the worst natural disaster to strike the poverty-ridden country in decades.


Kihara told a news conference that the government was coordinating moves "to provide the immediate support needed" and that it was conducting a situational assessment of Afghanistan to understand the local needs of the country.

According to a CNN report, Afghanistan is reeling from an economic crisis, with a senior Taliban official telling sources that the government is "financially unable to assist the people to the extent that is needs".

With military conflict and drought plaguing the nation for years, the US decision to freeze about $7 billion of the country's foreign reserves and cut off international funding following the Taliban takeover has crippled the already-struggling economy, forcing millions to leave their jobs.

Reports of individuals auctioning off their children to pay for their basic needs have appeared in the local press.

While the WHO said it had mobilized "all of the resources" from around the country, the organization said supplies were already running thin.

The UN has also reportedly announced the expected arrival of health teams, medical supplies, food, and emergency shelters to the area, but while external aid is forthcoming, Taliban officials have asked for additional assistance due to scope of the "devastating earthquake..."