Afghanistan: UN agencies rushing relief to victims hit by natural disasters

30 April 2009

United Nations agencies and their partners are assisting the Government of Afghanistan in responding to flash floods, landslides and earthquakes which have struck various parts of the country in recent days, killing at least 15 people and leaving thousands homeless.

The disasters have also damaged thousands of homes and killed hundreds of livestock, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

At least 15 people lost their lives and over a dozen of others were injured by floods in Herat, Badakhshan, Parwan, Faryab and Takhar provinces. More than 2,000 families were affected by the floods in Herat, while about 800 families were hit in Badghis province and hundreds more in several other provinces.

The Afghanistan National Disasters Management Authority (ANDMA), along with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the local Red Cross are distributing relief supplies including tents, food and family kits, while the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is delivering medical supplies.

Assessments are ongoing but the most urgent needs, said OCHA, are food, drinking water, shelter and health care. A major concern is the depletion of relief stocks across the country, and the Government has called for pre-positioning of relief items in expectation of more flooding in the near future.

Aid agencies are also concerned that more rainfall and rapidly melting snow will exacerbate the situation, OCHA stated.


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