UN agencies ready to support Government-led relief efforts in quake-hit South Asia

Damage caused by an earthquake in Afghanistan in 2009. Photo: UNAMA/Qaher Khan

26 October 2015 – United Nations agencies are mobilizing and stand ready to support Government-led relief operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, adding that his thoughts are with the people of the two countries after a powerful earthquake struck Badakshan province in Afghanistan.

“The Secretary-General sends his deepest condolences to the people and Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan and to everyone affected, particularly those who have lost family members and friends. He wishes a speedy recovery to those injured,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.

The statement also said that early reports suggest that there has been loss of life and serious damage to infrastructure in both countries.

“United Nations agencies are mobilizing and stand ready to support Government-led relief operations in both countries, if requested,” the statement concluded.

During the daily press briefing at UN Headquarters, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said that thus far, there are reports of damage across the northeast part of Afghanistan and in Kabul. Scattered reports at this stage indicate damage across the Northeast and in Kabul. The Government and UN are both hampered by the lack of phone service.

Early indications are that the impact of the initial shock may be relatively light, given the low density of population. Afghan disaster response mechanisms at the national and provincial levels have been mobilised, and the UN stands ready to provide assistance if requested, he explained.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority says that 148 people have been killed and 815 injured by the quake. [Hospitals] are on alert around the main impacted region – around the Khyber region, Mr. Dujarric continued.

He said that UN agencies are mobilizing emergency stocks as a preparatory measure in case support is required. The UN and its humanitarian partners stand ready to support the Pakistani Government’s ongoing relief effort for the people affected by the earthquake and mobilize any support, if requested.


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