Islamic Relief has launched an appeal to help those affected by the devastating earthquake which hit 24 miles northwest of the city of Herat, Afghanistan on the morning of Saturday 7 October.
The death toll from the 6.3 earthquake in western Afghanistan could be up to 2,000 as many people are missing and rescue operations are under way to save people trapped in debris. Up to 3,000 families (10,000 individuals) have been affected over three districts.
Islamic Relief Afghanistan’s health team based in Herat has travelled to the affected area to provide primary healthcare, assess the extent of the damage, evaluate the needs of those affected and coordinate with other responders and authorities.
The response is also likely to include distribution of tents, winter items and multi-purpose cash disbursement – as markets are functioning.
Islamic Relief is also coordinating closely with OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and other organisations on the ground to explore joint response opportunities.
Afghanistan has already been experiencing instability in the country since 2021, impacting levels of poverty, malnutrition and resulting in the collapse of basic services for Afghan civilians. As of April 2023, over 40% of its population has been experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity. This has pushed Afghanistan into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Millions of lives are at stake, and children are already dying of hunger.
Umair Hasan, country director of Islamic Relief Afghanistan said: “The people of Afghanistan have already been through so much suffering. This earthquake is now a double calamity for many families who urgently need our support.
“We are appealing for as much financial assistance to help those affected by this disaster. Many people would have lost loved ones, and many will be injured. Their needs will be huge in the days to come.”