Briefing note from UNICEF Geneva Palace on the situation of children and families affected by the earthquake in Afghanistan

GENEVA, June 24, 2022 – “Hello. Thank you for your time.

“I would like to update you on the latest news from Afghanistan, following the earthquake that struck in the early hours of 22n/a June in the provinces of Khost and Paktika.

“The earthquake was another tragic reminder of the challenges facing the Afghan people. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected and we wish those injured a speedy recovery.

By the end of last night, at least 1,036 people were reported dead and over 1,643 injured. At least 121 of those fatalities were children and 67 of the injured were children. The total number of people killed or injured is not yet confirmed. Verification is in progress. We expect these numbers to increase as search and rescue operations continue.

“Bermal district in Paktika province is said to have the highest number of casualties.

“Several thousand houses are destroyed and/or damaged.

Children and adolescents are extremely vulnerable and at high risk of family separation, emotional and psychological distress, abuse and exploitation, and other forms of violence.

UNICEF and our partners, alongside the de facto authorities, are working around the clock to gather information to better inform the response, even as deliveries of lifesaving supplies are underway:

  • A team of 14 UNICEF relays has been on the ground in the most affected districts since the morning of 22 June. These expanders assess the extensive damage and urgent needs of affected populations to prioritize assistance. We already know that the children and families affected by the earthquake are in urgent need of shelter, clean water, medical care and protection.
  • Nine UNICEF-supported Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams (MHNT) have been on the ground in earthquake-affected areas since June 22, providing life-saving medical care to the injured.
  • UNICEF provided emergency medicines and medical supplies to MHNTs and their partners in Khost and Paktika provinces. These supplies are already being used for intensive care.
  • UNICEF sent 500 first aid kits, while 45 acute watery diarrhea (AWD) kits were also sent to help prevent the spread of AWD/cholera, which is a high risk following earthquakes. land due to damaged water systems and poor sanitation.
  • UNICEF distributed life-saving WASH supplies and non-food items (NFIs) to partners, including 3,000 hygiene kits, 980 winter kits, 200 emergency family kits, soaps and water purification tablets. water, tents, blankets, warm clothes and tarpaulins.

“UNICEF, in coordination with UN agencies, partners and de facto authorities (led by the Ministry of Defence) is rapidly preparing a multi-sectoral response covering health, WASH, child protection, nutrition , education, social mobilization, and including a cash component. UNICEF will conduct a rapid market assessment in the affected areas in the coming days. The assessment will inform the feasibility and appropriateness of cash as a response. to support early recovery UNICEF has already trained partners in beneficiary registration in the field.

“In WASH, the response includes the provision of soap and water treatment products to mitigate the increased risk of an AWD/cholera outbreak. UNICEF will also respond with: emergency latrines, repairs damaged water systems and emergency water trucking.

“In the area of ​​child protection, UNICEF is activating community-based child protection networks in affected areas and will increase the number of child protection service providers and social workers.

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