A family collects a relief items kit from the UNHCR distribution point in Khost Province following an earthquake.
© UNHCR/Jannat Gul Totakhail
Location icon Afghanistan

UNHCR provides life-saving aid for earthquake survivors

Australians continue to stand with the people of Afghanistan in the face of the latest emergency.

Australians continue to stand with the people of Afghanistan in the face of the latest emergency – a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that killed 770 people and injured another 1,500.

Homes and critical infrastructure in Paktika and Khost provinces were destroyed in the quake, forcing people to sleep out in the open. Many had previously been displaced by armed conflict and were in extremely vulnerable situations.

“It is heart-breaking to see this tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan on top of the ongoing humanitarian crisis that Afghans are going through every day,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, following the earthquake.

“This tragedy highlights once again that Afghans need and deserve the world’s solidarity and support,” he said.

A UNHCR earthquake assessment team walks through the rubble following an earthquake in Spera District, Khost Province.
© UNHCR/Adnan Studio
A UNHCR earthquake assessment team walks through the rubble in Spera District, Khost Province. © UNHCR/Adnan Studio

With your support, UNHCR has delivered life-saving aid to 12,000 people in the affected areas, including tents, blankets, jerry-cans, buckets, plastic sheets, kitchen sets and solar lamps.

In addition to extensive damage to homes, UNHCR has identified a lack of basic services such as water, education, health care and electricity. There are also very few viable livelihood options.

In response, UNHCR and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a joint initiative to improve access to essential services.

The phased program includes the construction of sustainable shelters, and the restoration of education, health care, water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. It will also promote farm-based livelihoods with a focus on women entrepreneurs.

A family collects a relief items kit from the UNHCR distribution point in Khost Province following an earthquake.
© UNHCR/Jannat Gul Totakhail
A family collects a relief items kit from the UNHCR distribution point in Khost Province. © UNHCR/Jannat Gul Totakhail

The June earthquake was the latest in a long series of devastating crises for the people of Afghanistan.

Some 24 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance due to conflict, economic crisis, food shortages. The situation has become worse since the Taliban took over the country almost a year ago.

Before the earthquake struck, UNHCR had already helped close to a million Afghans in 2022, including with shelter, water and sanitation facilities, and cash assistance.

As part of an inter-agency response, UNHCR aims to reach 362,000 people with essential aid by the end of September, however, this latest disaster puts further strain on an already under-funded operation.

Please donate now to provide life-saving aid for vulnerable Afghans who have faced crisis after crisis.

Donate today

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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.

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