Caritas Australia has launched an appeal for Afghanistan following two earthquakes that struck the country last week, killing more than 2000 people, injuring thousands and leaving many more displaced.
On October 7, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Herat province, with a second taking place just outside of Herat on October 11.
Buildings have been damaged and destroyed, and hospitals overwhelmed, with this natural disaster compounding decades of crises in Afghanistan.
Caritas Australia is supporting its partners on the ground as they respond to the urgent need for emergency shelters, clean water, medical supplies, and food and other essentials.
This disaster has exacerbated an already difficult situation in Afghanistan following decades of conflict and poverty, with scarce resources coming under even more pressure.
Economic collapse, political instability and long-term drought had already left 24.4 million people in Afghanistan in need of urgent humanitarian assistance – 97 per cent of the population were already being pushed into extreme poverty, with two-thirds of households finding it difficult to meet basic food and non-food needs.
Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia’s humanitarian emergencies associate director, said: “Afghanistan is experiencing crises compounding crises, and the situation could not be more dire for vulnerable communities. It is vital that people of compassion and the international community take action to help families impacted by poverty, food insecurity, and lack of access to essentials.
“Without urgent action, the current humanitarian crisis could lead to even more deaths than seen during the war.”
Caritas Australia launches Afghanistan Earthquake appeal (Caritas Australia)