Update on the earthquake in Afghanistan

Berlin / Kabul, 01 July 2022

After the earthquake, Johanniter continued to provide medical aid in the particularly hard-hit Spera district in the Khost province. In addition, urgently needed relief supplies will be distributed in the coming week.

"People are now sleeping under the open sky on barren ground", reports Naeem Shah, head of the Johanniter office in Afghanistan. He has just returned from a research trip through the Spera District. Dozens of villages here have been destroyed. "Almost all the houses in the villages I've been to have irreparable damage." The villages, located high in the mountains and accessible only by dirt roads, are inhabited by up to 500 families in some cases. Access to water, food and health services are only attainable with long walks. "Before the earthquake, people mainly subsisted on their cows, goats and chickens. But because it had rained for days before the earthquake, families took their livestock into their homes," Shah continued. "Dozens of the animals were buried under the rubble."

Medical Teams in the villages

Johanniter has been working in Khost for years, providing medical assistance to Pakistani refugees living there, as well as to the surrounding villages. Johanniter and its partner HADAAF were also active in Spera before the earthquake. Therefore, the aid could be continued directly after the earthquake and the injured could be treated.

In order to focus even more on the aid in Spera, Johanniter has now established two new medical teams to provide care only in the region, which is a five-hour drive from Khost City. The existing teams are concentrating on the other districts.

Distribution of repair kits and household items

At the same time, Johanniter has started the procurement of relief goods for the families in Spera. Already in the coming week, these will be distributed. "Above all, tarpaulins and tools for repairing the houses, but also cooking utensils, blankets, and blankets for sleeping are needed," Shah continues. For the time being, 500 families will have a roof over their heads again. Johanniter is also discussing with the village leaders how they can quickly support the people with new sources of income. "Either we buy them new cows and goats or we look for other sources of income. We make that decision together with the communities to support them as needed with what will help them most quickly now." 

All earthquake relief activities are funded by the German Foreign Office.

On 6/21, a massive earthquake struck Afghanistan's eastern provinces. More than 1150 people died, thousands were injured. Dozens of villages were completely destroyed, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless overnight.

Note to Editors

Naeem Shah, Johanniter Head of Mission in Afghanistan, will be in Spera from Monday on. He is available for interviews.

Johanniter in Afghanistan

Johanniter has been working in Afghanistan for almost 20 years. Read more about our assistance in the country.