On Saturday, WFP helped open roads in Badakhstan to get affected people out and to bring life-saving assistance to the area. Copyright: WFP/Wahidullah Amani
Massive landslides, caused by heavy rains, killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands in Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province over the weekend. WFP's team was among the first to respond, providing food for survivors and other assistance to the relief operation.
The World Food Programme is distributing food to families displaced by landslides that have left hundreds of people dead in Badakhshan, north-eastern Afghanistan.
“Our team was on the ground within 24 hours of the catastrophe,” explained Country Director and Representative Claude Jibidar. “Our thoughts are with the families of those killed. We are working with other humanitarian actors and the Afghan authorities to ensure that survivors don’t go hungry.”
Other UN agencies are providing tents and other non-food items to help the displaced families.
WFP has brought in more than 80 metric tons of food – enough for 700 families (or 4,900 people) for one month - to the area. Distributions are being prioritized for those who have had to leave their homes due to the risk of further landslides.
“We are concerned about the future food security of the affected communities, since many may have lost their harvest,” added Jibidar. “We are aware that we may need to continue our support to the most vulnerable communities over several months as they re-establish their livelihoods.”
Mountainous Badakhshan province is susceptible to recurrent natural disasters, with frequent avalanches in the winter and floods and mudslides in the spring. This adds to the province’s chronic poverty and the high vulnerability of its people.
This landslide comes after a period of heavy rain and flooding. WFP has been distributing food to communities affected by floods, and has provided a digger to reopen a key road to the affected area.