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In the wake of devastating earthquakes that struck Herat province, western Afghanistan, Action contre la Faim deployed a team to launch an emergency response to aid the victims and affected communities.
The response will cover the Zindajan district, the most affected area, and will direct its efforts towards the provision of vital aid, including the distribution of kitchen utensils, clothing, cash assistance, and psychosocial support.
The province of Herat has experienced a harrowing series of seismic events, with powerful earthquakes striking on October 7, 11 and 15. It caused significant damage to infrastructure and has left countless individuals and families in dire need of assistance. Zindajan district is the worst-affected area, with 1,294 deaths, 1,688 injuries and 100% of homes destroyed.
The emergency team of Action contre la Faim works together with its implementing partner – Razi Development Social Organization – to deploy the emergency response. The organisations will distribute emergency kits to 1,400 individuals from 200 most-affected households.
“Some families lost almost everything because of the earthquake. Along with the house, they lost their personal belongings and cannot prepare a meal or even a cup of tea. Therefore, in emergency kits, we included such items as pressure cookers, jerry cans, towels, mats, raincoats, and even forks, spoons, bowls and matches”, explains Vijay Raghavan, Country Director of Action contre la Faim in Afghanistan.
The households will also receive cash vouchers to purchase winter clothing and blankets and can benefit from Psychosocial First Aid. In addition, 400 children will receive psychosocial kits with toys designed to meet the various needs of children and their families in vulnerable situations.
“Our mental health experts are used to working in emergency environments and are deployed to train local psychosocial and aid workers to better accompany victims. We are also part of the larger assessment work on the ground, which will give us a better picture of gaps, emerging needs, and access of communities to essential services”, says Gul Mohammad Ehsani, mental health coordinator and team leader for the ACF Earthquake Mission.
This week, Action contre la Faim and RSDO experts have visited the most damaged villages of Naib Rafi, Kushkak, Sia Ab, Kernel of Zindajan district. Along with emergency response, the teams work tirelessly in assessing the needs and documenting the impact of the earthquakes on livelihoods in coordination with local authorities and partner organizations.
“Winter is coming and we have to respond as quickly as possible to the needs of the most affected, or the situation will deteriorate more in the coming months”, concludes Mr. Raghavan.
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