Afghanistan: UN helps rush in aid to thousands of flood victims

Medical team on its way to the remote Khaspak village.

13 May 2010 – The United Nations is helping Afghanistan rush in emergency food and non-food aid for thousands of people hit by floods earlier this month, particularly in the three worst-affected western provinces.

Within hours of the floods striking the provinces of Herat, Ghor and Badghis, where at least 70 people have died, hundreds of houses have been destroyed and thousands of livestock have perished, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) teamed up with the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) to bring in children’s kits, jerry cans, blankets, biscuits, tarpaulin packs and tents.

The remote Bala-Morqhab district of Badghis province, one of the worst-affected areas, is inaccessible to both Government and humanitarian agencies, and community elders led by UNAMA and ANDMA are now assessing how to deliver aid there.

Some 20 provinces in all have been hit by flooding and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is providing food to 5,800 families as assessment reports continue to be received. At least 120 people have died overall and 10,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, nearly a quarter of them in Ghor province alone, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

Assessments have yet to be completed in Herat and Badghis. With significant damage to infrastructure and livelihoods, road clearance, rehabilitation of agricultural land and air access are among priorities that need to be addressed, OCHA said in its latest update, citing an ANDMA briefing.

In Faryab province in the north, 2,082 houses have been destroyed and 678 houses partially damaged, while in the north-eastern province of Baghlan nearly 2,000 houses have been destroyed or partially damaged.


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