Caritas responds quickly to Afghan earthquake

Rescuers carry injured people to a helicopter following the earthquake in Afghanistan on Wednesday (CNS/Bakhtar News Agency, handout via Reuters)

Humanitarian organisations, including the global Caritas network, are responding to the Afghanistan earthquake, providing medicine, temporary shelter and emergency food distributions. Source: Caritas Australia.

The 6.1 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday hit Afghanistan, causing more than 1000 deaths and a further 1600 injuries.

It is the deadliest in two decades, further devastating a population already struggling with a food crisis from the combined impacts of long-term drought and hunger, COVID-19 and decades of political instability.

“This latest tragedy is truly heartbreaking for a populace that has already gone through so much,” says Aloysius Canete, Caritas Australia’s humanitarian emergencies lead.

Late last year the United Nations anticipated that 97 per cent of the population in Afghanistan would be pushed into extreme poverty by June 2022. This happened even faster than anticipated, as food and fuel prices skyrocketed globally due to the war in Ukraine.

“Our partners on the ground report that crops are wilting, and that millions of families are now running out of options if they can no longer afford to buy basic goods since prices have increased exponentially.

“With this earthquake, we know that at least 1800 households have been destroyed and many more damaged, which leaves many vulnerable families reliant on humanitarian aid to survive.”

Humanitarian organisations including Cordaid, a member of the international Caritas network, are responding to the earthquake in the affected province of Paktika.

"For a country that is already facing such extreme levels of poverty and hunger, rebuilding and recovery from this latest crisis are going to present unusual challenges – it will be exceptionally hard to house and feed families impacted by this earthquake in a country where millions are already displaced and suffering from hunger.”

Caritas Australia is raising funds to support communities in Afghanistan.

Details: www.caritas.org.au/donate/emergency-appeals/afghanistan

FULL STORY

Over 1000 lives lost as disaster again strikes Afghanistan (Caritas Australia)  

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