Fears for children’s safety after huge Afghanistan quake, as nation grapples with mass starvation and economic collapse

June 23, 2022 – World Vision says it fears for children’s safety and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan after a huge 6.1-magnitude earthquake has reportedly killed at least 1000 people and devastated two south-eastern provinces of Afghanistan: Paktika and Khost.

“This is a tragedy at a time when the people of Afghanistan can least afford it.  The numbers of casualties are constantly rising,” said Patrick Thomas, World Vision’s Head of Fragile States and Humanitarian.  World Vision has been working in Afghanistan for the past two decades.

“Helicopters are trying to carry the injured to hospitals located in other provinces. The number of dead and injured is rising as residents are trying to pull survivors and victims from ruined homes and buildings across four districts,” he said.

"We are deeply concerned about the devastation that this earthquake causes in a country already in the grips of extreme poverty, drought and a worsening political, economic and security situation. This will further impact hundreds of thousands of already vulnerable people in the country, and add to their suffering," said Larisa Klepac, Acting National Director of World Vision in Afghanistan.

"This earthquake is just the latest disaster in a country that is facing mass starvation and economic collapse. The area where the earthquake happened is in a remote part of the east of the country where our humanitarian peers and partners work,” Klepac said.

According to latest reports, at least 1000 people have confirmed dead, with 600 injured and entire villages destroyed. The earthquake was also felt in Kabul, but no casualty has been reported there.

"The already limited capacity of Afghanistan's healthcare system adds further concern. The hospitals and medical centres are flooded with patients injured by the earthquake. With over half of the population of Afghanistan living in poverty and over 20 million food insecure, the humanitarian crisis here is already out of control, and thousands of families here are once again devastated by another event beyond their control. We call on the government and international donors to rapidly scale funding and support for continued lifesaving work,” Klepac said.

"While World Vision’s work is focused on the west of the country where we do emergency food aid to keep hundreds of thousands of people alive, children in Afghanistan face many challenges which require increased funding," said Klepac.


Media Contact:
For further information or to organise an interview, please contact:
Mike Bruce on 0403 920 189 or at
mike.bruce@worldvision.com.au.

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