People among rubble

Afghanistan: CARE begins emergency response to support communities affected by powerful earthquake

A powerful earthquake hit Afghanistan yesterday, 7 October, causing widespread destruction and devastating loss of lives. CARE Afghanistan Deputy Country Director Reshma Azmi described the impacts in the country as well as CARE's emergency response:

“CARE is deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake that struck the western province of Herat on Saturday, October 7, 2023. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake has caused widespread damage and loss of life. At least 2,000 people have been reported dead and the numbers are expected to grow in the coming days. This comes less than seven months after another powerful earthquake hit the country, leaving thousands homeless and displaced.

The earthquake struck at a time when Afghanistan was already facing a severe humanitarian crisis that was significantly under-funded. The current Humanitarian Response Plan that aims to support 23.7M people in the country is only 33.9% funded, while needs are increasing rapidly. The fast-approaching winter, combined with this new disaster, is likely to exacerbate the existing challenges and make it even more difficult for people to meet their basic needs, like adequate shelter, food, and medicine.

In the wake of the earthquake, CARE in Afghanistan has immediately started to assess the needs of the affected communities and to provide emergency assistance by dispatching its mobile medical clinics and distributing dignity kits and blankets to women and girls affected by the earthquake.

Families spoke to CARE of their urgent need for food, shelter, cash, medicine and clean water to help them cope with this tragedy.

We are particularly concerned about the impact of the earthquake on these communities, especially women and girls who already face serious restrictions on their freedom, hindering their ability to access critical lifesaving services.

Our hearts are with all Afghans impacted at this difficult time.”

For media enquiries, please contact Iolanda Jaquemet, Senior Humanitarian Communications Coordinator, CARE International via: [email protected].