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Thousands of Children at Risk After Earthquake Devastates Afghanistan

June 22, 2022

As the death toll rises, UNICEF is rushing aid to those in need in the wake of a powerful earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan.

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UNICEF has dispatched health teams and emergency supplies after a powerful earthquake shook Paktika and Khost provinces in southeastern Afghanistan early on June 22. The quake, recorded at a depth of six miles, was reportedly felt in neighboring provinces including Kabul, as well as Islamabad, Pakistan and India. 

According to The New York Times, at least 1,000 people have been killed. "We don't yet know the extent of the devastation," said UNICEF Afghanistan Representative Dr. Mohamed Ayoya. "Many more have been injured and many homes destroyed. These numbers are expected to grow as reports continue to come in."

The earthquake struck about 28 miles from the city of Khost, the capital of Khost Province. Spira district in Khost Province was affected, along with the districts of Gayan, Barmala, Naka and Ziruk in Paktika Province.

On June 23, 2022, children sit surrounded by the rubble of houses damaged by the earthquake in Gayan district, Paktika Province, Afghanistan. © UNICEF/UN0660398/UNICEF Afghanistan

The de facto authorities have requested the support of UNICEF and other UN agency teams who are joining efforts to assess the situation and respond to the needs of the affected communities. UNICEF medical and nutrition teams are working to provide first aid for those who are injured. 

On June 22, emergency supplies were loaded onto trucks at UNICEF's warehouse in Paktia Province to be dispatched to areas hit by the earthquake in eastern Afghanistan. © UNICEF/UN0660046/UNICEF Afghanistan

UNICEF is also providing critical aid, including kitchen equipment, hygiene supplies including soap, detergent, towels, sanitary pads and water buckets, warm clothes, shoes and blankets, as well as tents and tarpaulins.

"We stand in solidarity with the children and families affected during this difficult time," said Ayoya.

Help UNICEF rush urgently needed emergency supplies and assistance to vulnerable children and families in Afghanistan. Please donate today.

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Top photo: Halim, 8, from Gayan village, Paktika Province, Afghanistan, lost his home and many relatives in the devastating earthquake. He and his family have nowhere to shelter and are sleeping under plastic sheets. © UNICEF/UN0660500/Nazari