Earthquake in Afghanistan: HIA plans & coordinates with fellow ACT members on response
In the late morning hours of 7 October 2023, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck western Afghanistan. In addition to the destruction of thousands of homes and public buildings, infrastructure in Herat province was also severely damaged. More than 2,000 people have died and at least 12,000 Afghans have been severely affected. Due to the timing of the earthquake, many women and children were in their homes to prepare lunch for their families, so two thirds of the victims are women and children. Since October 7, the region has experienced several further major aftershocks, including a 6.3 magnitude quake on 11 October.
The HIA office in Afghanistan, in collaboration with ACT Alliance member organisations in the country and in coordination with the UN field offices, immediately began to carry out needs assessments to organise a longer-term relief programme. The first aid consignments have been dispatched to the region, containing tents, hygiene kits and other essential items.
In addition to the initial activities, HIA is working with ACT Alliance member organisations to develop a programme of assistance in the following areas: winterisation and temporary shelter; provision of household items, blankets, clothing; WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and longer-term rehabilitation, cash assistance and livelihood support.
Hungarian Interchurch Aid has been present in Afghanistan since 2001 and has helped more than two million people so far. In addition to providing assistance to people in the earthquake-affected area, the Agency is currently implementing food (120,000 beneficiaries) and rural development programmes in Balkh and Faryab provinces in partnership with the UN World Food Programme (WFP).