Afghanistan earthquake emergency response
© UNHCR/Caroline Gluck
Location icon Afghanistan

Helping earthquake survivors in Afghanistan

With your support, UNHCR is delivering emergency supplies to families to help them rebuild. 

Two 6.3-magnitude earthquakes struck Herat Province on 7 and 11 October, followed by a 6.4-magnitude quake on 15 October. Over one thousand people died, with many more injured.

Whole villages were reduced to rubble, forcing survivors to sleep outdoors. Over 30,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged. Displaced families are still scared to return home due to the risk of further aftershocks. One month on, tens of thousands of survivors are still homeless. 

Thanks to you, UNHCR and its partners are on the ground distributing cash assistance, emergency tents and other relief items to help those most in need.   

Humaira and her family are among more than 300 households in the Injil District receiving aid.

Humaira, a mother of eight, received a tent and emergency items from UNHCR and partners
© UNHCR/Caroline Gluck
Humaira, a mother of eight, received a tent and emergency items from UNHCR and partners.

On 7 October, 32-year-old Humaira gave birth at a local clinic. She had just returned home with her newborn son and was preparing food when the first earthquake struck. She crouched in a corridor with her baby, still weak from hours of labour. Her husband found her covered in dust from the damaged roof.

Humaira and her family were forced to shelter outdoors under a flimsy plastic sheet until help arrived. She was relieved to receive a tent from UNHCR.

“My baby gets so cold at night, he cries all the time,” says Humaira. “With this new tent, it will be better. We’ll have more space and be more comfortable. We’ll be much warmer."

Earthquake survivor Imam Uddin, a father of five, is also grateful to receive an emergency tent and essential items from UNHCR in his village of Robat Qologh.

Afghanistan. Imam Uddin and his family received an emergency tent and other essential supplies
© UNHCR/Caroline Gluck
Imam Uddin and his family received an emergency tent and other essential supplies.

Imam Uddin, who had previously been forced to flee to Iran as a refugee, had recently returned to Afghanistan. He works as a day labourer. 

“My house isn’t liveable now,” he says. “We are going to put the tents up and will sleep in the garden.

“We are too scared to move back to the house. Until we are sure there will be no more earthquakes, we won’t return. [Our] house needs a lot of repairs, and I can’t afford that; I don’t have any money."

Your donations in action

Thanks to your generous gifts, UNHCR and its partners are distributing emergency tents and other relief items in Herat, including thermal blankets, solar lamps and warm clothing.   

You're also providing cash assistance, helping the most vulnerable families purchase essentials such as medicine and fuel for heating.

But with winter looming, much more support is needed.

After years of displacement, many Afghan families have nothing left and are living in flimsy shelters or damaged homes. Last year, Afghanistan experienced its coldest winter in more than 15 years. People were killed in avalanches and livestock froze to death.  

UNHCR is rushing to deliver aid before the weather deteriorates and snow blocks off access to remote communities – but we urgently need your help. 

Please donate today to give families displaced by the earthquakes safety and warmth as they rebuild their lives. 

Related Stories

View all stories
© UNHCR/Edris Lutfi
Location icon

UNHCR warns Afghanistan’s conflict taking the heaviest toll on displaced women and children

Some 80 per cent of nearly a quarter of a million Afghans forced to flee since the end of May are women and children.

© UNHCR/Ghulam Abbas Farzami
Location icon

Thank you for standing with Afghanistan

UNHCR has provided life-saving support to over 332,000 newly internally displaced persons this year

© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell
Location icon

Hunger has reached unprecedented levels in Afghanistan

As temperatures plummet in Afghanistan, millions of people are at risk of famine.

Our fundraising commitment

The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.

Humanitarian programs