On 22 June 2022, a powerful earthquake of 6.1 magnitude occurred in remote parts of southeastern Afghanistan, with the provinces of Paktika and Khost being most affected. Hundreds of people have been confirmed dead, hundreds more have sustained injuries while unknown numbers are buried in the rubble of ruined mud houses. To date IOM has identified 1,705 affected families needing urgent relief assistance and as the assessment remains ongoing this figure of people in need, the death toll and the number of injured is expected to rise.
Distribution of relief assistance is expected to commence on 25 June to address the urgent shelter and NFI needs of the families that are currently living out in open spaces.
Immediate needs are lifesaving: water, shelter, food and access to emergency health care. These needs are intensified as the area was already a hot spot for food insecurity and water borne disease prior to the earthquake.
Of the 1,705 HH surveyed to date 88% are severely destroyed and destruction is widespread. WASH infrastructure is also being reported as damaged. An Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) alert for the affected provinces was also received one day before the earthquake struck. An already vulnerable community is now highly in need of safe water access to prevent the spread of water borne disease.
Emergency health needs are high, with many sustaining injuries during the earthquake. Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) has been identified as a critical need to support an already vulnerable communities to deal with the aftermath of the disaster.
The Gender in Humanitarian Action (GiHA) group have also raised the alarm that women and children are at risk with many also sleeping out in the open. Female humanitarian workers will be key to ensure that women and girls can be reached and their needs appropriately assessed.