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Agencies have launched a funding appeal to support families affected by the recent earthquake in Afghanistan.
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Agencies have launched a funding appeal to support families affected by the recent earthquake in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the area experienced two significant earthquakes, which were followed by a succession of aftershocks. Among these, a major one occurred on Wednesday, causing severe damage to several homes that had survived the initial quake.

UN agencies report that females and minors comprise more than 90% of the victims.

Disasters compounded

To exacerbate the situation, a dust storm hit various impacted villages on Thursday, causing significant damage to hundreds of tents. This included shelters at the Gazergah Transit Centre, where numerous displaced families were seeking refuge.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that families affected by the incident were relocated from the Centre to a school in Herat city. They will now need food and non-food relief supplies.

Appeals launched

The UNHCR announced a call for $14.4 million in humanitarian aid on Friday in order to provide shelters, heaters, and warm clothing to those who are currently sleeping outside and will face harsh winter conditions.

The United Nations organization will also offer aid in the form of legal support and guidance, which includes helping to retrieve and handle important paperwork. This will allow households, including refugees and those returning to their homes after being displaced, to exercise their rights as citizens.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) made an initial request for $20 million to provide emergency and trauma care for infants and children, repair schools and healthcare facilities, and offer mental health support to children and families.

Vulnerable families

The UN agency reported that communities in the area were already experiencing the impacts of prolonged conflict, instability, and disasters caused by climate change.

Rushnan Murtaza, the acting representative for UNICEF in Afghanistan, stated that the combination of these deprivations has resulted in a humanitarian crisis of unparalleled proportions for children.

UNICEF and its collaborators have been present on the site since the initial day, delivering crucial aid to children. However, we require further assistance in order to provide children with essential healthcare, protection, and access to clean water that they urgently require.

Needs and response

The United Nations and its collaborators are currently working on providing aid and evaluating the extent of destruction after the aftershock that occurred on Wednesday.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed worry over the destruction of healthcare facilities, which has left more than 580,000 individuals without access to medical treatment. A number of schools have also been affected and are currently unable to function.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) provided 95+ tons of food rations and commodities to numerous individuals impacted by the crisis. Additionally, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) aided 550 families in 15 affected villages by providing shelter, food, and other necessary supplies.