UNHCR Afghanistan Earthquake Response External Update #3 (3 July 2022)


The UNHCR Representative in Afghanistan has participated in an inter-agency joint mission to Barmal, one of the districts in Paktika Province hard hit by the June 22 devastating earthquake. The mission was led by the Humanitarian Coordinator and comprised UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations providing help to affected communities. Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) - one of UNHCR’s partners providing response, was part of the mission. The mission met with district officials and humanitarian partners providing services on the ground and visited several villages in Barmal District, saw the extent of damage, and witnessed distribution of emergency relief items.

The multi-sectoral Emergency Earthquake Appeal of UN OCHA targets approximately 362,000 earthquake affected people across provinces in south-eastern Afghanistan with a total of US$110.3 million urgently required to frontload life-saving response activities over the course of next three months (July-September).
UNHCR has completed the distribution of 1,600 shelter tents and non-food item (NFI) kits benefiting a total of 11,200 affected individuals in Khost and Pakitka provinces. Furthermore, UNHCR distributed 1,500 dignity kits to the two affected provinces for 10,500 vulnerable women and girls. UNHCR’s integrated mission, led by its Assistant Representative for Protection, which also included Shelter and Reintegration teams to the affected provinces was concluded on 30 June. Findings reaffirm the extensive damage to houses, absence of (and lack of access to) basic services such as water, education, health, electricity, access roads in the remote locations, and lack of viable livelihood opportunities.

UNHCR and UNDP on 1 July launched a joint program - “Community Revitalization (CORE)” to assist earthquake affected families in 2 Priority Areas of Return (PARR) districts (Spera in Khost and Barmal in Paktika). CORE is aimed at rebuilding lives and resilience by improving access to essential services. Given the immediate needs on the ground, UNHCR and UNDP will be operationalizing a response through a 6-month phased approach starting 1 July 2022. Thereafter, the joint programme will be implemented over a period of another 18 months - phase 1 beginning the response using 1 million US$ (500,000 USD from UNHCR and 500,000 USD from UNDP) focusing on sustainable housing and installation of solar energy systems. Phase 2 will focus on related resource mobilization for identified needs up to 14 million USD, ensuring that urgent needs can be addressed immediately and that communities can rebuild self-reliance and resume daily activities.

UNHCR finalized discussions with the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) to provide resilience response (as part of the scale-up following emergency) to build back better. Under this initiative, activities will focus on strengthening protection and accountability to affected population (AAP), construction of shelter, improving access to essential services (education, health, WASH, critical infrastructure etc.), and promoting farm-based livelihoods with focus on women entrepreneurs.

To date, around 770 people are estimated to have been killed with 1,500 people reported wounded including at least 155 children killed and nearly 250 injured by the earthquake – 65 of them either identified as orphans or unaccompanied minors.