UN rushes emergency aid to Tajikistan after earthquakes affect thousands in the south

1 August 2006

The United Nations is providing $20,000 in emergency assistance to Tajikistan after earthquakes hit two southern districts of the Central Asian country at the weekend, affecting around 9,000 people and damaging infrastructure in a region close to the border with Afghanistan.

Two earthquakes of magnitudes 5.3 and 5.4 hit areas of Kumsangir and Panj districts on Saturday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news release, adding that damage to electricity and other key social infrastructure had been reported in a large part of Kumsangir. There was no information on casualties.

Tajikistan’s Government has requested assistance from the UN and wider international community and there is an immediate need for tents, blankets, mattresses, food, clothing, fuel, medication and other equipment. The $20,000 emergency cash grant aims address these urgent requirements.

The Government, working with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Tajik Red Crescent, began an initial assessment mission on Saturday.

OCHA has also contacted the Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan to gather information on the impact of the two earthquakes in that country, adding that an initial Government assessment mission indicated that damage was limited and that emergency relief needs are covered.

The Afghan Red Crescent, with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will provide food and supplies to over 100 families, while the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will provide other assistance.


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