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Afghanistan Earthquake Appeal
Emergency Update

Afghanistan Earthquakes 

On 15 October at 8 a.m. local time, another 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan. This came after two devastating earthquakes – one 6.3-magnitude on 7 October and one 6.3-magnitude on 11 October - had wreaked havoc on the region. 

Due to the series of earthquakes, nearly 1,500 people were reported to have died, 90 per cent being women and children, and over 1,800 people were injured. Zinda Jan district in Herat province was the epicentre of the first earthquake and remains the most affected district, where over 95 per cent of homes have been destroyed.  

UNICEF is delivering life-saving supplies across health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and child protection intervention.   

Please donate to support UNICEF’s ongoing work in emergency response and long-term development programs that help better the lives of children and their families in Afghanistan.   

Updated: 25 October 2023

Afghanistan is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a child. Conflict, drought and disease, and an unprecedented rise in humanitarian needs are making life for children even harder.

Afghanistan's children face an uncertain future in a constantly changing and volatile situation. At least 15.2 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance as families suffer extreme poverty in Afghanistan with limited access to healthcare, food and safe, clean water.

Girls are in the midst of a systematic crisis as women’s rights in Afghanistan are not being recognised. Their exclusion from secondary education and the workforce – and the imposition of rules governing their daily lives – has significantly increased their protection risks, devastated their rights to an education, and restricted their access to healthcare. The impacts will be felt for generations to come. 

UNICEF has stood by the women and children of Afghanistan for more than 70 years throughout multiple crises, and as a humanitarian organisation, we will stay and deliver. We will engage, advocate and look for every opportunity to reach women and children who need us

Afghanistan Earthquake Appeal

UNICEF will remain on the ground in Afghanistan supporting vulnerable children and their families. We can't do this without you.

Education is every child's right

A young Afghanistan girl looking at the camera© UNICEF/UN0820903/Madina Qati

In March 2023, 18-year-old Arezo (name changed to protect her identity) should be studying in the 11th grade, but due to the ban on secondary education for girls, Arezo has not been in the classroom since August 2021. She explains;

“We do not have internet access at home, so online learning and self-study is difficult. From morning to evening, I just do household chores. The only things I have are the books and chapters from previous years of school, which I review and repeat sometimes at home. 

"Recently I began to feel a deep voice in my heart. It wants to scream out – so loud – and I feel like something inside of me needs to get out."

Arezo, 18-year-old Afghanistan girl

I was getting so depressed I had to see a doctor. He told me I should try to get some exercise, that I should try and go for walks early in the morning. But I am afraid to go out; now all the girls stay at home. So, I cannot do anything. I haven’t been able to go out in public for over a year.

It has been 530 days that I have not been able to be in school. I’ve been counting. If schools do not open, I will have to keep counting, and this depression will keep going. I want to pursue my career dream to become a dentist. Medicine itself is intriguing because if you look around, so many doctors are needed, and there is a lot lacking.”

Afghanistan Earthquake Appeal

UNICEF will remain on the ground in Afghanistan supporting vulnerable children and their families. We can't do this without you.

Malnutrition threatens Afghanistan’s children

A young boy eating ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF).© UNICEF/UN0802513/Munir/Daf records

On 7 March 2023, a young boy received UNICEF-supplied ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) at a nutrition day care centre in Kabul that supports children to recover from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

With UNICEF’s support, in February 2023 alone, over 47,000 children aged 6-59 months received life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition following a screening of more than 1.2 million children.

$129

provides 252 sachets of therapeutic food to help two children recover from severe acute malnutrition.

875,000

children under five years old will be in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2023.

Afghanistan Earthquake Appeal

UNICEF will remain on the ground in Afghanistan supporting vulnerable children and their families. We can't do this without you.

How will my donation help children?

Even in the face of the escalating crisis, UNICEF's work for children and families across every region of the country continues. 

Here's how you can help:

  • $92 could help provide 8 winter blankets, protecting displaced children from the cold when temperatures plunge.
  • $136 could help provide two hygiene and dignity kits, assisting two families in emergencies. 
  • $265 could help provide 504 sachets of Plumpy’Nut®, a therapeutic peanut paste, to help save the lives of 4 children suffering from severe malnutrition. 

Thanks to support from generous people like you, our teams are on the ground:   

  • Providing medical care to displaced families.  
  • Delivering emergency water and sanitation facilities.  
  • Vaccinating babies against polio and other preventable diseases.   
  • Treating children for severe acute malnutrition. 
  • Giving cash assistance to families struggling to buy food and clothing for their children. 
$1

    How do we use each dollar donated?

  • 82¢
    last year, 82 cents of every dollar donated went to our emergency response work in the field and helped us to be there for children before, during and after emergencies around the world.
  • 18¢
    last year, 18 cents in every dollar were invested in raising public awareness; fundraising to grow our impact for children and in essential accountability and administration work.

Your gift will support children impacted by this emergency, and crisis around the world. If you choose to donate monthly or should we receive more funds than is needed for this emergency, your gift will support UNICEF's work where the need is greatest. Find out more about our financial management in our annual report.  

Looking for other ways to support children in Afghanistan?

© UNICEF/UN0743134/Gripiotis

Afghanistan Earthquake Appeal

UNICEF will remain on the ground in Afghanistan supporting vulnerable children and their families. We can't do this without you.

Top image: Afghan children rest under a blanket beside damaged houses after earthquakes devastated communities in October 2023. Photo credit: © UNICEF/UNI448658/Karimi AFP

Fundraising image: In 2022, a young boy smiles next to a UNICEF winterisation kit. The kit includes blankets, warm clothes, tarpaulin, and water buckets. Photo credit: © UNICEF/UN0581132/Fazel

Philanthropy image: In 2022, a four-year-old boy Afghanistan washes his hands at the new water tap installed by UNICEF.