Map showing affected Afghanistan territory* The MMI measures the shaking intensity from an earthquake by considering its effects on people, objects, and buildings.Source: UN-OCHA, 2022

On Wednesday June 22, 2022, a powerful 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck southeast Afghanistan, causing catastrophic damage and killing over 1,000 people. It was the deadliest earthquake in 20 years.Neighbouring Pakistan has also been impacted.

The earthquake struck one of the poorest corners of a country that has been hollowed out by increasing poverty. At least 1,800 homes were destroyed, displacing thousands. Even as more aid arrived Saturday, many residents have no idea how they will rebuild the thousands of homes destroyed in villages strung through the mountains.

Nestled in rocky, unpaved mountains and hillsides, the remoteness of these poor villages and their rudimentary homes of mud and wood were cited as a major cause of the fatalities among residents in Khost and Paktika – the two provinces that were most affected by the earthquake. Afghanistan’s interim authorities report that most search and rescue operations had been completed already by Wednesday evening, but due to the remoteness of the affected areas, the number of casualties and damage estimates could rise. Heavy rains have swept the region in recent days, compounding the misery.

In the badly hit Paktika province, all shelter, school, and healthcare buildings had been razed to the ground, including the local mosque. In some of the worst affected districts, survivors said they were even struggling to find equipment to bury their dead and lacked the most basic provisions.

In response to the emergency, MERCY Malaysia is deploying a team to affected areas to provide medical and emergency aid support. The team will also be conducting detail assessment to provide facts and information in the planning of other mid- to long-term humanitarian and development aid.

MERCY Malaysia’s Plan of Action

MERCY Malaysia has been supporting communities and providing humanitarian aid across Afghanistan since 2001, including during periods of conflict, regime change, and disasters. Our support for Afghanistan has include the delivery of health, nutrition, education, emergency shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene and food security support – working with local partners to ensure effective implementation and allowing exchanges of capacity to happen.

While the assessment team will provide a landscape needs analysis to formulate a comprehensive short-, mid-, and long-term plan of action, this paper highlights immediate needs and framework of the overall operations strategy. MERCY Malaysia’s response will be to contribute to improve health and care, food security, strengthening livelihood, and building resilience in communities affected by the earthquake and other multiple shocks.

A. Rapid Assessment Team & Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Mobilisation

  1. A Rapid Assessment Team & EMT will be mobilised to verify actual needs and gaps on the ground and to initiate life-preserving and quick impact activities.
  2. MERCY Malaysia requires support to mobilize its teams, which include the
    medical team (medical officers, medical assistants and nurses), aid distribution team, and technical team (for recovery and reconstruction works)

B. Medical & Healthcare

  1. EMT Specialised cell support – to identify urgent specialised needs in
    hospitals to treat wounded patients which may include medical/ surgical
    equipment, medicines consumables; surgical specialists; or to set up a field facility (in the worst-case scenario)
  2. Primary Healthcare Services – Health services are provided for areas that
    have health service gaps focusing on community health and first aid
    services that will enhance the community’s capacity for health support
    which will also include community-based surveillance
  3. Psychosocial First Aid – responding to the psychosocial needs of children
    and adults.
  4. Public Health – to support surveillance of potential outbreaks as well as to implement preventive measure activities including raising health and
    hygiene awareness.

C. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Food Security & Shelter

  1. Water and sanitation facilities – To ensure access to clean water supplies
    and emergency latrines, especially for schools and communities.
  2. Access to clean water – demonstrate safe ways to sanitise water through
    community education to prevent water borne diseases.
  3. Health and hygiene promotion activities – included in all these actions with inclusion in all aspects of health priorities such as vaccine-preventable diseases; Basic personal and hygiene needs (such as soap, detergent, sanitary napkins, etc.) are much needed to reduce the risk of common diseases after the disaster.
  4. Delivery of emergency tents – Provision of fast and appropriate shelter
    solutions for affected families; Support shelter self-recovery and building
    back safer to improve hazard resistance.
  5. Non-food items – Blankets, cooking sets and fuel, plastic sheets and others to support the immediate needs of those who have lost most of their household essentials.
  6. Continuous supply of nutritious food – ready-eat food like bread, flour, oil, rice and salt.

MERCY Malaysia’s Agenda for
Humanity in Afghanistan

Agenda for humanity: Our commitment to the Afghan humanitarian crisis by
providing aid, human development and protection for the people of Afghanistan.

A Four-decade Humanitarian Crisis

Over the last nine months, Afghanistan’s health sector has been decimated by the withdrawal of critical development funding that had push the economy into collapse and plunge Afghanistan deeper into humanitarian crises and near famine. Keeping Afghanistan just above catastrophe through humanitarian programmes alone is not sustainable. A holistic humanitarian – development strategy is required.

Since August of last year, the economic crisis and collapse of the banking sector has made it extremely challenging to get money into the country. Many local organizations that previously played a central role in service delivery no longer operate. Nevertheless, it was aid agencies that have helped kept Afghanistan away from the brink of starvation with humanitarian programmes that has fed millions and kept the country’s medical system alive.

MERCY Malaysia is calling on donors and partners from Malaysia and from the international community to provide urgent, additional humanitarian and development aid, not just for the earthquake response, but also for the wider crisis in Afghanistan where more than 18 million children and adults – almost 50% of the population – are going hungry.

Four decades of conflict and instability in Afghanistan have left millions of people on the brink of hunger and starvation. The country currently has some 3.5 million conflict-displaced people plus some 1.57 million climate-displaced people. In recent months there have been repeated bombings and violent attacks in various parts of the country.

Already some 24 million Afghans need humanitarian assistance due to the hunger and economic crisis, lack of development aid, and the impact of the changeover in government authorities ten months ago. Environmental disasters such as earthquakes and droughts are regular occurrences in Afghanistan, remaining one of the key drivers of displacement. Some 1.3 million people were displaced within Afghanistan in 2021, a record high number.

Support Afghanistan

Those who wish to support the Afghans, may donate via the button below or
channel their donation to :

MERCY Humanitarian Fund

MBB 5621-7950-4126
Swift Code: MBBEMYKL

MERCY Malaysia

CIMB 8000-7929-08
Swift Code: CIBBMYKL
Swift Code: CIBBMYKL

Zakat Contribution

MERCY Malaysia

MBB 5642-5858-7606
Swift Code: MBBEMYKL

Malaysian Medical Relief Society
(PPM-020-14-16091999)

1st Floor, MCOBA Building,
42 Jalan Syed Putra,
50460 Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia
* All cash contributions are tax-exempt.

For further information please contact:

Shareen Shariza Dato’ Abdul Ghani
Executive Director
shareen.ghani@mercy.org.my

Mohammed Said Alhudzari
General Manager, Program Development & Operations
said.alhudzari@mercy.org.my

Amrul Hazarin Hamidon
Head of Department, Islamic Social Financing
amrul@mercy.org.my

Azizah Mohd Nasir
Deputy Head of Department, Fundraising & Event
azizah@mercy.org.my

or visit: facebook.com/mercymalaysia | instagram.com/mercymalaysia

Download a copy of our Afghanistan Response Recovery & Reconstruction Plan 2022 Dossier