Afghanistan, Asia Pacific | Khost and Paktika Earthquake - Emergency Appeal No: MDRAF007 (specific for Paktika and Khost earthquake) - Operational Strategy


Glide №: EQ-2022-000232-AFG

IFRC Secretariat funding requirement: CHF 10 million
Federation-wide funding requirement: CHF 10 million


On 22 June 2022, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit the southeast region of Afghanistan, with the epicentre in Paktika province. The earthquake, which also affected Khost province, was felt throughout Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. The earthquake struck at 1.30 a:m local time when most people were asleep, and livestock was indoors. Based on initial reports, at least 1,000 people were estimated to have been killed and more than 1,500 injured. Deaths were mostly caused by collapsed structures, with secondary data analysis and earthquake intensity mapping indicating that around 70 per cent of houses in areas affected by high-intensity shock were either damaged or destroyed. Barmal, Giyan, Nika and Ziruk districts of Paktika Province as well as Shamal and Spera districts of Khost province bore the brunt of the impact.

The situation during the first day was compounded by continuous rains which hampered search and rescue efforts as well as the heightened risk of secondary disasters such as mudslides, landslides, and flooding. Weather conditions also slowed down the initial deployment of relief items as air transportation was delayed, prompting transportation of relief supplies by land. The rains eased on the morning of 23 June but since then, temperatures have soared, leaving affected households exposed to possible heatwaves. Several aftershocks took place during the week following the earthquake further affecting people as well as the safety of buildings.

This earthquake is an emergency within a wider catastrophic humanitarian crisis affecting Afghanistan. The scale of short and medium-term humanitarian needs wrought by the earthquake will be hugely significant and may impact the wider humanitarian crisis driven by the following factors:

All areas affected by the earthquake were already experiencing acute humanitarian needs due to the ongoing wider humanitarian crisis. As such, this Operational Strategy outlines interventions specifically to address earthquake-related needs. The broader humanitarian needs, such as those resulting from drought and ongoing economic hardship, will be addressed through the Humanitarian Crises Operational Strategy. It builds upon the current humanitarian crises that are faced by Afghanistan, where more than 50 per cent of Afghanistan’s population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance due to a combination of crises: the effects of decades of conflict, a protracted and severe drought, the effects of other intense climate-related disasters, extreme economic hardship exacerbated by sanctions-related impacts and unemployment, a weak health system which was already stretched by COVID-19 and most recently, by the re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases, and system-wide gaps affecting the health, water, education, energy, and public service sectors.

Agencies, including Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners, have repurposed or redirected stocks, personnel, and resources from existing interventions to meet urgent needs. These must be replenished as soon as possible to meet the originally intended needs as well as to prepare for the upcoming winter. Furthermore, humanitarian needs, such as those created by the earthquake, have to be delivered alongside wider bridging and/or development interventions to be sustainable. Both are inextricably linked to having longevity, continually engaging communities and strengthening systems, especially at the local level.

When this Emergency Appeal operation closes, preparedness, risk reduction and local capacity strengthening activities will continue under the Unified Federation-Wide Country Plan. The Unified Plan will reflect a holistic view of ongoing emergency responses and longer-term programming tailored to the needs of the country, and will also reflect the collective actions of the IFRC and its Membership in the country.