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$400M needed for Western Afghanistan’s earthquake recovery

AT News

KABUL – The United Nations has issued an urgent call for over $400 million to aid western Afghanistan in its recovery from a devastating earthquake that struck last October. The quake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, claimed the lives of approximately 2,000 individuals, leaving entire villages in Herat province leveled and thousands injured and displaced.

Months after the disaster, survivors continue to grapple with the arduous task of rebuilding their lives. A joint report by the UN, World Bank, European Union, and Asian Development Bank highlights the pressing need for $402.9 million to facilitate critical recovery and reconstruction efforts in the region.

The report underscores the importance of prioritizing the restoration of basic services and the construction of earthquake-resistant housing, particularly for the most affected families. Drawing upon field data, publicly available information, and remote analytics, the assessment outlines comprehensive strategies for addressing the urgent needs of affected communities.

Spanning nine districts with a population of around 2.2 million people, the report provides a detailed breakdown of the demographic groups impacted, including pregnant women, infants, and individuals with disabilities. Herat, Injil, and Zindajan emerged as the districts hardest hit by the disaster, with rural and vulnerable communities bearing the brunt of the devastation.

Indrika Ratwatte, the U.N. chief’s deputy representative and humanitarian coordinator, emphasized a commitment to not only meeting immediate needs but also fostering a sustainable and resilient recovery for those affected. Ratwatte views the tragedy as an opportunity to cultivate stronger, more inclusive, and resilient communities in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Afghanistan is no stranger to seismic activity, with numerous fault lines and frequent movement among neighboring tectonic plates. Recent earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.5 tremor in March and another in June 2022, have further compounded the challenges faced by the nation, claiming additional lives and causing widespread destruction.

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