With thousands dead and many more displaced or affected after powerful earthquakes in western Afghanistan, the peak body for Australia’s aid and development sector is calling on the Australian Government to urgently direct aid funds towards the crisis.
The 6.3 magnitude quake on Saturday was followed by numerous aftershocks, and toppled homes in rural areas near Herat.
Almost 3,000 deaths have been confirmed, and an estimated 30,000 people have been affected.
Afghanistan is already suffering a humanitarian crisis with the confluence of political instability, protection threats (particularly for women and girls), an economic crisis and climate change factors. The United Nations estimates that a record 29.2 million people would need humanitarian and protection assistance this year.
Complicating remediation efforts is a Taliban-imposed ban on women working for aid organisations. Most foreign aid organisations halted operations when the Taliban seized power in 2021.
The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) urges the Australian Government to direct much-needed aid funding towards Australian INGOs and their local civil society partners working on the ground to bring direct relief to those affected and to help with rebuilding efforts.
Said Marc Purcell, ACFID CEO:
“Afghanistan is a country already in the grips of despair, and this devastating earthquake is yet another blow.
“By helping out, Australia can send a clear message to the people of Afghanistan that it is an all-weather friend.”
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