One of the UN teams on the ground, refugee agency UNHCRshipped tons of relief supplies to the provinces of Khost and Paktika, where thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged by the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck early Wednesday.
The latest tally from Thursday night showed at least 1,036 people were killed and more than 1,643 injured, in the worst earthquake to hit the country in two decades.
Mohamed Ayoya, Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund, said: “At least 121 of these deaths are children and the 67 injured are also children.UNICEF) in afghanistan. “The total number of people killed or injured has yet to be confirmed. Verification is ongoing and we look forward to these numbers [to be] will increase in the coming hours and days. “
Shelter for survivors
Critically needed items arriving from Kabul, including hundreds of tents, thousands of blankets, jerry cans, buckets, plastic sheets, kitchen sets and solar lights – enough to help 4,200 survivors. Giyan, Bermal, Zerok and Nika districts in Paktika province and Spera district in Khost province.
To ensure distribution to those most in need, UNHCR established three supply centers in Giyan, Bermal and Spera counties, so that humanitarian assistance can be delivered to the communities affected by the earthquake. Heavy rains have also swept the region in recent days, adding to the hardship, UNHCR warned.
UNICEF also deployed lifesaving supplies, including 500 first-aid kits, along with medicine for acute diarrhea to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases.
More ‘urgent need’
UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said: “More support is needed to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the affected areas.
“There were about 24 million Afghans in need of humanitarian assistance due to hunger and the economic crisis, lack of development aid and the impact of the change of government 10 months ago,” Ms. Mantoo told journalists in Geneva.
Across Afghanistan, about 3.5 million people have been displaced by conflict and violence, and another 1.57 million have been displaced from their homes by climate shocks.
© UNICEF / Sayed Bidel