UN agencies rush to help Afghanistan after deadly earthquake – Global Issues

At least 1,000 people were killed, according to media reports, and the number is expected to rise.

United Nations humanitarian agency OCHAsaid An earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck the central region of Afghanistan around 1:30 am local time.

Four districts in the province of Paktika – Gayan, Barmala, Naka and Ziruk, as well as the Spera district in Khost province were affected.

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 km and was reportedly felt in neighboring provinces, including Kabul, where the country’s capital is located, as well as in Islamabad, Pakistan and India, according to OCHA.

Aid Priorities

Urgent needs include emergency trauma care, temporary shelter and non-food items, food aid, and water and sanitation support.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense is leading the response and deployed five helicopters to Paktika province to facilitate medical evacuations, OCHA said. A medical team was also sent to the Gayan region.

OCHA is coordinating emergency response on behalf of UN agencies and humanitarian partners and teams deployed in the two provinces.

United Nations Children’s FundUNICEF) sent several mobile health and nutrition teams to provide first aid to the victims.

Dr. Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, informed that employees are also distributing critical essentials, including kitchen equipment; hygiene items such as soap, detergents, towels and sanitary napkins, as well as warm clothes, shoes, blankets, tents and tarps.

“The de facto authorities have requested the support of UNICEF and other groups of UN agencies that are joining forces to assess the situation and respond to the needs of affected communities,” he said.

“We stand in solidarity with the children and families affected during this difficult time.”

More on this evolving story…

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