“I heard a loud noise, and at first, I thought it was an explosion. But then, almost immediately the house fell on me and my children,” recalls Asifa.
Shock, chaos, and loss
Asifa was at home when the earthquake shook her home in Zinda Jan district. She was just one of thousands who felt the 6.3-magnitude quake in western Afghanistan on October 7, followed by several strong aftershocks.
She could hear the cries of children, relatives, and neighbours from underneath the rubble. She helped rescue four people trapped under collapsed houses, including her two-year-old daughter, Asra.
But while Asra emerged safely, Asifa's 9-month-old baby did not make it. At just 21 years old, Asifa became familiar with devastation she should never have known.
Asifa cradles 2-year-old Asra, resting inside a temporary shelter after the recent earthquake destroyed her home. (@UNICEF/UNI450239/Phwitiko)
Children in Afghanistan are fighting to survive
The recent earthquake in Afghanistan once again devastated the lives of over 13,000 children and families like Asifa's who were already coping with multiple crises.
The full extent of the destruction is yet unknown, but initial estimates indicate that over 1,023 individuals have lost their lives with 1,663 people sustaining injuries. Over 90% of those reported killed to date are children and women.
Children are the most vulnerable, and they need urgent relief. We cannot wait – please donate to help us save lives.
Afghanistan Earthquake 2023
Children resting under a blanket beside their damaged houses in Sarbuland village (Photo by © UNICEF/UNI448658/Karimi AFP)
UNICEF and partners are on the ground rushing essential supplies to help children and families in urgent need. (Photo by © UNICEF/UNI448714/Khan)
Your donation can help save and protect children
For a long time, Afghanistan has been one of the most dangerous places to be a child. War, destruction, and loss has been the commonplace for children, families, and communities in the country. And this devastating earthquake has made the situation even more desperate. UNICEF is doing everything we can, but we need more help, urgently.
- UNICEF teams are on the ground to help conduct additional assessments. The injured are being treated in nearby health facilities, with emergency drugs provided by UNICEF and partners. UNICEF is also providing emergency tents for overburdened health clinics.
- UNICEF has dispatched 10,000 hygiene kits, 5,000 family kits, 1,500 sets of winter clothes, as well as blankets, 1,000 tarpaulins, and basic household items, which will complement the support provided by other UN agencies and partners.
In this devastating time, you can be there for children. Please make a donation.