UN teams ramp up aid after another earthquake strikes Afghanistan
UN teams have stepped up their response after another strong earthquake struck western Afghanistan early on Wednesday, just days after powerful earthquakes killed over 2,000 people in the same region.
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Herat at 5:10 AM (00:40 AM GMT) local time, injuring over 100 people, many of whom were taken to hospitals, according to media reports.
UN agencies have stepped up support, deploying teams to assess the damage and assist ongoing humanitarian efforts.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is supplying emergency food assistance to the affected communities, while the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has dispatched medical teams to support hospitals and help treat the wounded.
UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has brought in blankets and shelters, potable water and is providing psychosocial support services.
Prior to the earthquake on Wednesday, quakes that struck since the weekend affected more than 12,100 people, in some 1,730 families, most of them women and children.
Over 2,000 people lost their lives, a vast majority among them women and children.
Those who survived have lost their loved ones, their homes and possessions, said Rebecca Phwitiko, UNICEF Communications Officer in Afghanistan.
“Yesterday, I met children in one of the damaged villages, families have lost everything, and they do not know how they will survive the coming winter,” she said.
The UNICEF official emphasized the urgent need for international support.
“We urge you not to forget the children of Afghanistan,” she said.
The UN agency has launched a $20 million appeal for its aid operations in this disaster.