FILE PHOTO: Afghan men search for survivors amidst the debris of a house that was destroyed by an earthquake in Gayan

How to help victims of the earthquake in Afghanistan

A magnitude 6 earthquake that hit Afghanistan on June 22 has killed more than 1,000 people and left more than 1,500 injured, according to United Nations numbers, leaving parts of the country reeling after the deadliest earthquake the country has experienced in two decades. As aftershocks continue to rock the region, some areas are still awaiting aid.

More than 10,000 homes, most of which were made from mud and clay, have been damaged or destroyed.The earthquake struck Afghanistan’s remote eastern region about 46 kilometers from the Pakistan border, and some affected areas are so difficult to reach that the Taliban has struggled to deliver aid. Logistics pose a significant challenge. Deliveries must be flown into the capital city of Kabul, then loaded onto smaller trucks and helicopters for the last legs of the journey to getting aid into the more remote villages.

Afghanistan is already suffering from a multitude of humanitarian issues, complicating disaster recovery. The country spiraled into a hunger and economic crisis after U.S. armed forces withdrew in August and the Taliban took over the Afghan government, prompting the international community to cut off non-humanitarian aid.

Immediately after the earthquake, the Taliban issued an international call for help.The U.S. on Tuesday pledged an additional $55 million in humanitarian assistance for shelter materials, household items and sanitation efforts following the earthquake. In total, the United States has sent more than $700 million in humanitarian assistance over the last year, according to the State Department, in an effort to help the people of Afghanistan.

Humanitarian aid is difficult to manage even with effective programs in place, but Afghanistan could pose extra concerns, especially for those donating from the U.S. given that the U.S. has put the Taliban under a number of sanctions. Donating on crowdfunding sites cannot be transferred to Afghanistan banks due to those sanctions. The best and most effective method to get aid to those affected by the earthquake is to donate to NGOs.
The following NGOs have a proven record of helping in a humanitarian crisis. Donate to assist those affected by Wednesday’s earthquake.

Here are some ways to help

Donate to the World Food Programme: Afghanistan was suffering from a food crisis even before the earthquake, which has now been exacerbated.

With over 1,000 dead, children have invariably been affected, either directly or through loss of a family member. UNICEF has been supporting children around the world for nearly 80 years.

The Red Cross and The Red Crescent, have already mobilized to help the people of Afghanistan with food and aid delivery.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is assisting the Afghan government to help as many people as possible.

Islamic Relief is a Muslim NGO founded in the UK in 1984 by doctors and activists dedicated to disaster response.

UNHCR’s work in Afghanistan focuses on protecting the most vulnerable and assisting newly displaced Afghans with life-saving shelter, food, water and core relief items.

With thousands displaced, the International Rescue Committee can help provide aid, health care and support to Afghans affected by the earthquake.

International Medical Corps was the first to respond in the Gayan district of Afghanistan, mobilizing staff and ambulances and providing critical trauma care to impacted communities.

Save the Children has been directly supporting communities and protecting children’s rights across Afghanistan.

How to avoid charity scams

  • Make sure that where you’re donating is a legitimate organization or a group that has a proven record of delivering aid.
  • Do your research to determine if organizations are legitimate. Charity Navigator lists reputable organizations. Great Nonprofits and Give Well has reviews of nonprofit groups and can help you see how much of your money goes directly to relief.