According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), 18 trucks are being deployed to areas affected by the earthquake. They carry emergency supplies, including mobile storage units, but also foodstuffs such as high-energy biscuits.
WFP plans to provide emergency food to 3,000 households initially. The UN agency has said it is ready to increase its aid depending on the results of the ongoing post-disaster assessments. “Our teams quickly mobilized and will continue to provide support to help affected families overcome this new tragedy,” said Gordon Craig, WFP Deputy Director in Afghanistan.
Tents, blankets and other relief items
The earthquake came as the Afghan people are already facing an “unprecedented crisis after decades of conflict, severe drought and economic downturn”. “The earthquake will only add to the already massive humanitarian needs they endure daily, especially for the nearly 19 million people across the country who face acute hunger and need assistance,” said added Mr. Craig.
Map of the intensity scale of the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that occurred in Afghanistan on the night of June 21 to 22, 2022. The areas in red near the epicenter most likely concentrate most of the damage.
Since the start of 2022, WFP has assisted 18 million people with food, cash and livelihood support in Afghanistan. WFP works in all 34 provinces of the country and has a fleet of 239 trucks on the road every day, delivering food to some 800 distribution sites across the country.
For their part, the first convoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) left the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, with tents, blankets and other relief items to initially protect 4,000 survivors. in the provinces of Khost and Paktika. According to the UNHCR, this is to meet their immediate vital needs. Further help is on the way.
The earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan, about forty kilometers from the province of Khost, bordering Pakistan. According to a preliminary assessment communicated by the de facto authorities, the earthquake killed at least a thousand people and injured more than 2,000.
The UN “fully mobilized”
On the ground, UN humanitarian agencies and their partners assessed the damage caused by the earthquake and the needs of families on the ground. The remote districts of Giyan and Barmal in Paktika province and Spera in Khost province are among the worst affected areas. In Barmal, more than 70% of the houses were completely destroyed.
However, rescue efforts were hampered by heavy rains and high winds, as well as the landlocked areas affected. The heavy rains also caused landslides that slowed relief efforts and damaged telephone and power lines.
UN chief Antonio Guterres assured that the UN was “fully mobilized” to help Afghanistan, with the ongoing deployment of first aid teams and the shipment of medicine and food. The population needs shelter in priority, because of the rains and the unusual cold in this season, but also food and non-food aid as well as assistance in water, hygiene and sanitation services, indicated the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).