Following the deadly quake, the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) has mobilised staff and volunteers to provide emergency assistance.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sent emergency medical supplies to three hospitals in the region affected by the earthquake: Paktika Provincial Hospital, Urgon District Hospital and Paktia Regional Hospital. The aid will help medical teams address the immediate needs, which are likely to increase in the coming hours and days.
Transferring blankets, tents, kitchen utensils, medicine, water bottles, and food items to the earthquake areas of Khost and Paktika provinces from HQ warehouses of the ARCS in Kabul. pic.twitter.com/VokcYIMuEx— Afghan Red Crescent Society (@ARCSAfghanistan) June 22, 2022
The first patients injured in the quake were treated at the ICRC-supported hospital in Ghazni. Due to transportation difficulties in this rural area, people in need of medical assistance are likely to take hours or even days to reach hospitals in their area.
Afghan Red Crescent Society teams are transferring blankets, tents, kitchen utensils, medicine, water bottles, and food items to Khost and Paktika provinces from their warehouses in Kabul.The ICRC stands ready to support the ARCS in its response with emergency cash grants and essential household items, such as blankets and clothing.
The Afghan Red Crescent Society health workers, staff, and volunteers are currently working to help earthquake victims in the Gyan district of Paktika province. pic.twitter.com/VLSyIHt35q— Afghan Red Crescent Society (@ARCSAfghanistan) June 22, 2022
Beyond response triggered by earthquake
Despite the overall decrease in fighting in Afghanistan in recent months, many areas across the country remain highly contaminated by explosive remnants of war, such as landmines and unexploded ordonnance. Explosive ordnance in Paktika and Khost provinces that had been buried may have moved to the surface or migrated from their original location, putting people at further risk.
Millions of people in Afghanistan face the combined effects of loss of income, a lack of job opportunities, the consequences of fighting and a lack of cash.
Beyond the urgency to respond to the humanitarians needs triggered by the earthquake, States and development agencies are also encouraged to return to Afghanistan and continue their support for projects that are on hold to respond to the growing needs of the Afghan population, and to prevent the situation from further deterioration. Sustainable solutions are urgently needed.