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WFP rushes emergency food assistance to earthquake-hit eastern Afghanistan, assisting 18,200 people as first response

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered emergency food assistance to 18,200 people affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Paktika and Khost on 22 June. The 5.9 magnitude quake killed around 800 people, injured 1,500 others, and destroyed hundreds of homes.

WFP has provided High Energy Biscuits and rations of wheat flour, salt, vegetable oil and pulses. Distributions across both provinces are ongoing, while needs assessment teams are gathering information in earthquake-hit areas to uncover the full extent of the damage and determine priority humanitarian needs.

‘’This is an emergency on top of an emergency. 19 million people are already facing acute hunger across the country, a severe drought and crippling economic crisis is pushing people to the brink. And now thousands have lost their homes after the powerful earthquake and desperately need food assistance and shelter. We are appealing to the international community not to forget the people of Afghanistan,’’ said Gordon Craig, Deputy Country Representative for WFP Afghanistan,

Additional information for journalists:

  • Humanitarian response efforts in areas affected by last week’s earthquake are ongoing as aftershocks continue to be felt in Giyan (Paktika). The logistics working group (led by WFP) is working with UNOPS to conduct a road assessment in 3 districts.
  • To date, WFP has provided emergency food assistance to approximately 18,200 earthquake-affected people (2,600 households).
  • In Bermal, WFP has identified 900 households (6,300 people) that require food assistance. To date, approximately 600 households (4,200 people) have received assistance.
  • In Giyan, WFP has provided High Energy Biscuits (HEB) to 2,000 households (14,000 people), including 614 households (4,300 people) who have also received emergency food rations.
  • Complementary cooking supplies are being distributed jointly by UNHCR and IOM.
  • WFP has successfully set up two Mobile Storage Units (MSUs); one in Giyan (Paktika) and one in Spera (Khost). A third MSU will be set up in Bermal (Paktika) today.
  • On 25 June, WFP participated in a joint high-level mission to Giyan district (Paktika) with the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov. WFP joined representatives from UNHCR, IOM, WHO, UNICEF, UN Women, FAO, and OCHA.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

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Shelley Thakral, WFP/Afghanistan,
Mob.  +91 6309927371

Kun Li WFP/Asia, Bangkok,
Mob +66 845558994