World Vision, one of the leading aid agencies working in Afghanistan for the past two decades, have expressed their fears of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of the powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake that has devastated two South-Eastern Provinces of Afghanistan, Paktika and Khost, in early morning of June 22, that has killed at least 950 people.
"We are deeply concerned about the devastation that this earthquake causes in a country already in the grips of extreme poverty, drought and a worsening political, economic and security situation. This will further impact hundreds of thousands of already vulnerable people in the country, and add to their suffering." says Larisa Klepac, Acting National Director of World Vision in Afghanistan.
"This earthquake is just the latest disaster in a country that is facing mass starvation and economic collapse. The area where the earthquake happened is in a remote part of the east of the country where our humanitarian peers and partners work.” Laric Klepac adds
According to latest reports, at least 950 people have confirmed to have been killed, with 600 injured and entire villages have been destroyed. However, the numbers of casualties are constantly rising. Helicopters are currently on the ground and trying to carry the injured people to the hospital located in other provinces. The number of dead and injured is rising as residents are trying to pull survivors and victims from ruined homes and buildings across four districts of Paktika and one district of Khost Provinces. The earthquake was also felt in Kabul; however, no casualty has been reported there.
"The already limited capacity of Afghanistan's healthcare system adds further concern. The hospitals and medical centres are inundated with patients injured by today's earthquake. With over half of the population of Afghanistan living in poverty and over 20 million food insecure, the humanitarian crisis here is already out of control, and thousands of families here are once again devastated by another event beyond their control. We call on governments and international donors to rapidly scale funding and operational support for continued lifesaving work.” continued Klepac.
"While World Vision’s work is focused on the west of the country where we are undertaking emergency food assistance to keep hundreds of thousands of people alive, children in Afghanistan face multiple challenges which all require increased funding support. We pray for the children caught up in this terrible earthquake and for those responsible for that region and who are rushing to their aid." Concluded Klepac.
Notes to editors
Representatives of World Vision Afghanistan are available for interview. For further information or to organise an interview, please contact: Leah Donoghue, Director - Communications and Advocacy for World Vision Middle East and Eastern Europe at Leah_Donoghue@wvi.org