Children and families at risk after 6.3-magnitude earthquake hits western Afghanistan

Statement attributable to UNICEF, with quotes attributed to Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan.

Kinder schlafen nach Erdbeben auf dem Boden.
Afghan children rest under a blanket next to damaged houses after the massive earthquake damaged or even destroyed many houses in the village of Sarbuland in Herat province.

At about 11:00 yesterday morning, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake and several strong aftershocks shook western Afghanistan in Herat, Badghis and Farah provinces. Some of the most affected areas are just 40 kilometres from Herat city.
The full extent of the destruction is yet unknown, but initial estimates indicate that several hundred people, including women and children, lost their lives or were injured. 

“Let me express our heartfelt condolences to families mourning the loss of loved ones,” said Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan. “Together with our partners, we will make every effort to bring quick relief to those affected,” he continued.
UNICEF teams are on the ground to help conduct additional assessments. The injured are being treated in nearby health facilities, with emergency drugs provided by UNICEF and partners. UNICEF is also providing emergency tents for overburdened health clinics.
UNICEF has dispatched 10,000 hygiene kits, 5,000 family kits, 1,500 sets of winter clothes, as well as blankets, 1,000 tarpaulins and basic household items, which will complement support provided by other UN agencies and partners. 
“As always, UNICEF stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan during this difficult time,” concluded Equiza.