Afghanistan earthquake: hundreds of thousands of people affected
The Afghan Red Crescent is providing food, medicine and shelter after deadly 5.9 magnitude earthquake
On Wednesday 22nd June, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the south-east region of Afghanistan.
Reports suggest more than 1,000 people have been killed, and a further 1,500 injured. In some areas of the most affected provinces, Khost and Paktika, 80 per cent of homes have been damaged.
Though it is likely that some Afghan Red Crescent personnel or their families will have been affected, staff and volunteers from Khost and Paktika provinces were among the first responders and continue to provide vital support.
Where was the epicentre of the 2022 Afghanistan earthquake?
Rescue efforts on the first day were hampered by continuous rains, which also heightened fears of mudslides, landslides and flooding. Weather conditions have now improved and more support is on its way.
The earthquake comes at a desperate time for the country, which is already going through one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world.
Over half the population of Afghanistan is in urgent need of assistance after three decades of conflict, and a third consecutive year of drought. Ninety-five per cent of people don’t have enough to eat.
What is the Red Cross doing to help in Afghanistan?
The Afghan Red Crescent has a network of over 30,000 volunteers and staff in all provinces of Afghanistan. They are supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and several other National Societies.
Food, water, blankets, kitchen sets and tents have been sent from Afghan Red Crescent warehouses in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, medical teams and ambulances have arrived and damage assessment is being carried out.
So far, 2,000 kitchen sets, 800 bottles of water, 200 tents, 400 food parcels, 2,300 blankets, 30 medical kits and 40 first aid kits have been dispatched.
“There are few words that can describe the sheer sense of utter devastation,” says Maryann Horne, senior humanitarian adviser with the IFRC’s Afghanistan country delegation. “Afghan Red Crescent teams have been working flat out in the worst affected areas to carry out detailed needs assessments while also providing food, medicines and support for the thousands of families displaced.”
How can I help people affected by the earthquake in Afghanistan?
The British Red Cross launched its Afghanistan Crisis Appeal in August 2021. So far, the British public has donated a total of £6.95 million which has helped to provide 3,000 tonnes of food relief, enough for 210,000 people in the coming months.
A further 5,000 hygiene kits, 3,500 kits containing household items and winter survival kits were distributed in December. In the coming months, a major operation to support the livelihoods of 280,000 people will begin.
The appeal remains open and is dedicated to reaching people in Afghanistan affected by both the wider humanitarian crisis and the response to this week’s earthquake.
Donations to the appeal will help communities in acute need following the earthquake, as well as those living in areas facing food shortages and a lack of healthcare.
As a country at high risk of earthquakes and climate-related disasters, donations will also help ensure there are resources in place ahead of the next natural disaster.
From the Ukraine conflict to the Africa hunger crisis, there are millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance around the world today – but Afghanistan must not be forgotten.
Afghanistan in crisis
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