The crisis in Afghanistan after series of devastating earthquakes

Despite current response efforts, thousands need greater relief before winter

Entire villages were forced to relocate after the earthquakes struck northwest Afghanistan. At this encampment, Mercy Corps is providing clean water to more than 300 families.

On October 7, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck western Herat Province in Afghanistan, claiming thousands of lives, flattening entire villages, and leaving communities to live in tent cities after losing their homes. In the days that followed, two more devastating earthquakes hit the region, deepening the severity of this crisis along with multiple challenges the people of Afghanistan were already facing.

Once home to more than 300 families, this village in northwest Afghanistan was destroyed by the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck on October 7.

Over the last two years, the number of people across Afghanistan in need of humanitarian assistance has increased to 67% of the population. Three consecutive years of drought, spiking costs of basic necessities, and reductions in international funding have pushed millions of Afghans living on the edge further into crisis.

“It is imperative that international attention and funds be urgently directed to this crisis,” says Dayne Curry, Mercy Corps Country Director for Afghanistan. “The support committed to the response thus far is simply not enough to address the long recovery ahead or prepare communities for potential future shocks.”

Mercy Corps is providing clean drinking water, hygiene supplies, and cash assistance to communities in Herat Province.

Mercy Corps is responding to the recent earthquakes, working to address the urgent water and sanitation needs of earthquake-affected communities. Our team in Herat is providing clean water, sanitation kits, and cash assistance to help communities rebuild and recover.

Mercy Corps has worked alongside communities in Afghanistan since 1986, growing access to clean water and sanitation services as well as connecting people to agricultural and vocational training. In 2023, we reached more than 96,600 people across the country.

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