Islamic Relief’s emergency response team is today distributing food parcels to families in Afghanistan’s Paktika province who were made homeless by Wednesday’s deadly earthquake.
In one village the team met survivors and heard how nine people from a single family, including four young children, were killed. They were asleep in their house when the earthquake struck in the middle of the night.
Islamic Relief is responding in Barmal district, which is one of the worst affected areas and has received little aid so far. Access to the area has been extremely challenging due to the remote, mountainous location and heavy rains. The Islamic Relief team is aiming to deliver vital food supplies to more than 2,000 families over the coming days.
Ajmal Majboor, Islamic Relief’s humanitarian programme coordinator, is on the ground delivering food in Paktika today. He said:
“The scale of devastation is unimaginable. People have lost absolutely everything. There’s nothing left where their homes used to be, just rubble and death. Entire families have been killed. I met a survivor of one family from which nine people were killed, four of them children. Eight more of their relatives are injured and are now in hospital.
Some people are still trapped under the rubble and the death toll is likely to keep rising even further.
Many survivors don’t have anything to eat and they urgently need food, shelter and water. They are hungry, thirsty and sleeping outside, exposed to the wind and rain, or taking refuge in any building that’s still standing.
The area where we are responding is very remote and people there have received very little aid so far. Today we’ve started distributing food supplies, but much more is desperately needed.”
The earthquake is certain to make what is already one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises even worse. Afghanistan is struggling in the face of an economic crisis and sanctions, with spiralling food prices, record unemployment and a critical shortage of cash. 24 million people, more than half of the population, are now in need of humanitarian aid and malnutrition among children is rising as most families cannot afford enough food. Islamic Relief is calling on the international community to help provide emergency aid but also work to address Afghanistan’s economic collapse.
Islamic Relief has worked in Afghanistan since 1999 and currently works in 10 provinces. The charity provides life-saving emergency aid, supports long-term livelihoods, provides essential healthcare and promotes access to education.
About Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.
Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo. Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future.