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New humanitarian funding urgently needed after devastating earthquake in western Afghanistan causes ‘a crisis on top of a crisis’

Thousands of children are without homes after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated large parts of Herat province in western Afghanistan. More than 2,000 people have been killed or injured and over 9,000 families have been severely affected.  
09 October 2023

Save the Children is deploying emergency humanitarian assistance to support them. The agency is coordinating its response with partners, which will include cash distributions for families, baby hygiene and children’s wellbeing kits, and mental health support for children. 

Arshad Malik, Country Director for Save the Children in Afghanistan, said:

“The scale of the damage is horrific. The numbers affected by this tragedy are truly disturbing – and those numbers will rise as people are still trapped in the rubble of their homes in Herat. Our thoughts and condolences are with all those who have lost loved ones.  

“Thousands of children and families are now without homes, without shelter. They have lost everything. The terror of aftershocks and buildings collapsing has forced families out into the open in Herat.

“This is a crisis on top of a crisis. Even before this disaster, children were suffering from a devastating lack of food. Donors must provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance. This new emergency requires new funding. Without an urgent injection of money, existing humanitarian programmes will be impacted as already overstretched funding is strained further. The international community cannot turn its backs on children in Herat who need urgent help.”

Save the Children is co-ordinating with partners to get emergency assistance to the most impacted areas in Herat. We are working to provide families with emergency cash grants to help them buy materials to rebuild their homes and other urgent supplies, such as food and clean water, and to pay for medical care.  The agency is also conducting further assessments to determine children's needs. 

Save the Children has been supporting communities and protecting children's rights across Afghanistan since 1976, including during periods of conflict and natural disasters. We have programmes in nine provinces and work with partners in an additional seven provinces. 

Since August 2021, we've been scaling up our response to support the increasing number of children in need. We are delivering health, nutrition, education, child protection, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security and livelihoods support. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Joshua Mcdonald on 0478010972 or

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