Afghanistan: Save the Children, due to the recent earthquake, thousands of children have lost their families and are in danger of violence and exploitation.

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Afghanistan: Save the Children, due to the recent earthquake, thousands of children have lost their families and are in danger of violence and exploitation.

The organization calls on the international community for urgent support to support the victims of the earthquake and in general for the deep crisis that the country is going through and which, if left unresolved, risks causing thousands of deaths among children in the coming months.

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Thousands of children have lost parents and siblings in Earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 which last Wednesday destroyed some areas in the southeast of Afghanistan, leaving them in fear and at risk of being abused and exploited. This is what he declares Save the Children, the international organization that has fought for over 100 years to save boys and girls and guarantee them a future.

The most damaging earthquake that the country has remembered for at least two decades, killing about 770 people and injuring nearly 1,5001. Earthquakes and heavy rains have compromised relief efforts for many communities, leaving the population alone immediately after the earthquake.

Maryam*, twelve years old, was buried under the rubble for three hours. She said she heard rescuers walk over her, but no matter how loud she was, she could not be heard. She was rescued. His father, his father’s wife, two younger sisters and brother, on the other hand, were all killed under the roof of their house, made of mud and wood, which collapsed on top of them.

“My phone rang in the middle of the night and they told me my family was injured in the earthquake. When I got home, I found out some of them were dead. I thought the world was going under when I saw my family dead, my nephew [che è morto] he was the favorite. I look at her pictures every day, ”he says Nazir *, Maryam’s uncle, who cares for her. He was not home at the time of the quake, which killed seven other members of their extended family and seriously injured four others.

“The children are afraid of this catastrophe. Not only have many of them lost their loved ones, but some were buried alive under the rubble for hours before being rescued. The constant aftershocks increase the fear and anxiety they have already felt, and many of they fear they will find themselves under the rubble again, “he said. Chris Nyamandi, Director of Save the Children Afghanistan.

“These children need immediate support and ongoing specialized assistance to recover and overcome the traumatic events they have been exposed to. Children in southeastern Afghanistan and across the country were already living in unimaginable conditions. Millions of people are starving every day and live by eating stale bread.If they are lucky, they will find plain rice to eat once a week.Children can not survive on bread alone.If the international community does not provide emergency support – for the earthquake and the deep crisis in Afghanistan in general – and not addressing the country’s economic crisis, we will see thousands of children die in the coming months, ”Chris Nyamandi concluded.

Save the Children has sent teams to the worst-hit areas of Paktika province and will provide families with cash grants to purchase materials for the reconstruction of their homes and other important items, such as food and drinking water. In addition, the organization will in the coming days make further assessments to identify the children’s needs.

Save the Children has supported communities and protected children’s rights throughout Afghanistan since 1976, including in times of conflict, regime change and natural disasters. We have programs in nine provinces and collaborate with partners in six other provinces.

Since the Taliban regained control in August 2021, we have stepped up our efforts to support the growing number of children in need. We provide health and food care, education, child protection, shelter, water, sanitation and sanitation, food and livelihoods.

* The names have been changed to protect the identity of the respondents.

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