IOM Delivers Aid to Inaccessible Earthquake-Affected Areas in Afghanistan

Date Published: 
Tuesday, December 22, 2015

IOM has distributed relief items to 507 earthquake-affected families in Badakhshan province’s Wardoj and Baharak districts, where humanitarian access has limited in the past months.

On 26 October, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan, causing dozens of casualties and destroying thousands of homes across the region. The earthquake was centered in Badakhshan’s Jurm district.

Over 20,000 families in 14 Afghan provinces were affected in total. Many families have been living in the open, with their homes in ruins, since the quake.

Soon after the earthquake struck, IOM teams joined the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and other humanitarian partners to carry out damage assessments and plan for aid distributions.

From October to December, over 4,500 earthquake-affected families received blankets, tents, hygiene kits and shelters from IOM. But Wardoj and Baharak remained inaccessible to humanitarian agencies due to insecurity and fighting between government forces and insurgents.

After extensive coordination with community elders and local authorities, IOM was able to secure access to Wardoj and Baharak to distribute aid in mid-December.

An IOM convoy carrying warm clothing, solar lanterns and other winter preparedness supplies departed from Badakhshan’s capital Faizabad on 17th December. The aid was distributed to 267 families in Wardoj and 240 families in Baharak on the same day.

“IOM is committed to providing assistance in even the most difficult to access parts of Afghanistan,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Richard Danziger. “These supplies will help to ease the burden on families in Wardoj and Baharak during the winter.”

Funding support for IOM Afghanistan’s natural disaster response activities, including disaster risk reduction, is provided by USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Government of Japan.

For further information, please contact Nasir Ahmad Haidarzai at IOM Kabul, Email: nhaidarzai@iom.int, Tel: +93 794 100 542.