GENEVA / AFGHANISTAN EARTHQUAKES RESPONSE

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17-Oct-2023 00:02:35
The UN aid coordination agency said that in just eight days, three destructive 6.3 magnitude earthquakes rocked western Afghanistan’s province of Herat, killing 2,000 people and affecting 1.6 million. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / AFGHANISTAN EARTHQUAKES RESPONSE
TRT: 02:35
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
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FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations, Geneva

17 OCTOBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, Palais des Nations, Geneva
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Daniel Endres, Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. for Afghanistan / Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Resident and Resident Coordinator:
“Western Afghanistan, north of Herat, has been struck by three earthquakes of the magnitude 6.3. And that means the first one was on the 7th of October, the second one on the 11th, and last Sunday on the 15th, there was the third one. And so far, what we have assessed is that we have about 66,000 people who are affected. This figure is going up as we continue our assessments.”
4. Med shot, journalists taking notes
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Daniel Endres, Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. for Afghanistan / Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Resident and Resident Coordinator:
“There is now no water for the people. It needs to be tanked in, and the water systems that are on the ground have been impacted by debris. And there is a risk of diseases because the water is going to be contaminated.”
6. Wide shot, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Daniel Endres, Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. for Afghanistan / Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Resident and Resident Coordinator:
“First of all, in the initial humanitarian lifesaving and life-sustaining phase, but it is very, very important that we also are fully aware the bigger job of addressing an earthquake comes in the next 12 months, in the reconstruction of the infrastructure, water in particular, and then, of course, the destroyed homes.”
8. Med shot, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Kate Carey, Deputy Head of Office in Afghanistan, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The plan is six months long. It just to sort of clarify, it is a plan that will be absorbed into the existing humanitarian response plan so that the requirements that are attached to it and these total $93.6 million dollars are already incorporated into our existing humanitarian response plan for 2023. But obviously, our current HRP (humanitarian response plan) remains severely underfunded. We've only received 30 percent of requirements to date.”
10. Wide shot, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Daniel Endres, Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. for Afghanistan / Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Resident and Resident Coordinator:
“That collaboration has been positive. They have virtually not restricted us in the outreach to the people and doing the assessments. That includes access to women by women. As you know, especially in the medical field, the work of women is permitted. And so, the women are, of course, undertreated by female medical personnel. And that's happening.”
12. Various shots, journalists, press room

STORYLINE:
The UN aid coordination agency (OCHA) said today (17 Oct) that in just eight days, three destructive 6.3 magnitude earthquakes rocked western Afghanistan’s province of Herat, killing 2,000 people and affecting 1.6 million.

The high-intensity quakes have left thousands in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Latest on-site reports indicate that 66,000 people have been affected, “and this figure is going up as we continue our assessments,” said Daniel Endres, Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. for Afghanistan, speaking from Kabul to journalists in Geneva.

The initial quake destroyed entire villages made of mud-brick homes.

Schools and health clinics were also flattened.

Most vulnerable communities now live out in the open, in makeshift shelters, in freezing temperatures ahead of the winter months.

First aid, medical supplies, food, hygiene kits, emergency shelter, and basic household items are part of the initial relief assistance provided.

But important damage to water and sanitation points is raising concerns of waterborne and other infectious disease outbreaks.

“There is now no water for the people. It needs to be tanked in, and the water systems that are on the ground have been impacted by debris. There is a risk of diseases because the water is going to be contaminated,” warned Endres.

“The bigger job of addressing an earthquake comes in the next 12 months, in the reconstruction of the infrastructure, water in particular, and then, of course, the destroyed homes.”

The Humanitarian Country Team launched a multi-sectoral Herat Earthquake Response Plan (HRP) of $93.6 million to support 114,00 earthquake-affected people in the province of Herat.

The appeal comes against a backdrop of chronic funding deficits, however.

“Our current HRP remains severely underfunded. We've only received 30 percent of requirements to date (this year),” said Kate Carey, OCHA Deputy Head of humanitarian affairs office in Afghanistan.

Humanitarian partners continue to coordinate with the de-facto authorities. “That collaboration has been positive, Endres said.

They have virtually not restricted us in the outreach to the people and doing the assessments.” Women are treated by female medical personnel, and women's work is permitted.

“That's happening,” he confirmed.

The UN health agency, WHO, has also deployed a team of 21 female healthcare workers, medical doctors, and midwives to different clinics.

Earthquakes are common in Afghanistan, with multiple fault lines and frequent seismic movement among three tectonic plates in the area.
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