Afghanistan’s Earthquake Aftermath: Children’s Plight and the Dire Need for Aid – Medriva

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With the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Afghanistan, nearly 100,000 children are in desperate need of support. The quake’s impact, coupled with the frigid winter, has created life-threatening conditions for families left homeless. The situation is made even more critical by the Taliban’s failure to invest in public services, contributing to a degradation of basic amenities and hindering vulnerable communities’ recovery. This calls for immediate and substantial aid, not only for survival but also to provide these children with an opportunity to thrive in the future.

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Earthquakes in Afghanistan: A Humanitarian Crisis

According to a UNICEF report, over 96,000 children have been adversely affected by the earthquakes that rocked western Afghanistan. The harsh winter that has gripped the nation compounds the problem. Sadly, the earthquakes claimed the lives of over 1,000 people, with women and children being the majority of victims. The earthquakes also led to the destruction of 21,000 homes, leaving many families without shelter during this severe winter.

The United Nations children’s agency urgently requires $1.4 billion to meet the humanitarian and basic needs of 19.4 million Afghans, constituting half of the country’s population. The lack of investment in public services by the Taliban has exacerbated the situation, leading to a decline in basic services and impeding the recovery of vulnerable communities.

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UNICEF’s Response and Call for More Aid

UNICEF has been at the forefront of providing assistance to the earthquake-affected regions. They have provided clean water, temporary health facilities, blankets, winter clothing, and cash assistance to help cover basic needs. They have also set up temporary learning spaces and child-friendly spaces for education. However, UNICEF’s efforts alone are not sufficient to meet the vast needs of the affected children. They emphasize the urgent necessity for more support to ensure the survival and future of these children.

Despite UNICEF’s efforts to convert tented health facilities into more permanent structures, provide clean water to nearly 19,000 people in Herat, and establish facilities for children to continue basic education, thousands of children still need help. The organization is deeply concerned about the survival of 96,000 children affected by the earthquakes if they are not able to provide the services they need to recover.

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Supporting Children in Afghanistan: A Continuous Effort

UNICEF has been supporting children in Afghanistan since 1949 and continues to respond to emergencies such as the recent deadly earthquakes. Besides providing life-saving health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies, they also focus on delivering vaccines, shelter, protection, education, and nutrition to Afghan children.

In 2023, UNICEF’s response included providing high-performance tents for child-friendly spaces, classrooms, nutrition stations, and vaccine centers. The organization also imparted hygiene education and installed toilets and handwashing facilities to prevent illness. UNICEF has been working in Afghanistan for over 70 years, with offices and teams across the country and in neighboring countries.

Donations to UNICEF will support the Afghanistan emergency appeal for six months and then go into the Global Parent fund to save and protect children worldwide. With the dire situation in Afghanistan, the call for assistance has become more urgent than ever. The future of tens of thousands of children hangs in the balance, and the world must act swiftly to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

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