Islamic Relief responds to deadly floods in Afghanistan

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Islamic Relief is launching an emergency response as flash floods in northern Afghanistan have killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless.

One of the worst-hit is the Baghlan province, where more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed. More than 300 people have been reported as killed so far, but many more are still missing.

Children in Afghanistan, trekking through mud during the floods, Photo credit: Al Jazeera

Many residents were unprepared for the sudden rush of water caused by the heavy rainfall. Roads and agricultural land have also been destroyed by the floods. With these areas struck after days of torrential rain, we fear that families who have lost land, assets and homes will be pushed further towards starvation.

The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan worsens

Afghanistan is currently in the midst of one of the world’s biggest food crises. Thousands of people in the affected areas are already suffering from severe hunger.

Umair Hasan, Islamic Relief’s Country Director in Afghanistan, says:

“Huge rivers of water and mud suddenly swept through villages, destroying vital farmland and washing away people’s fragile homes. Many people are reportedly still missing so the number of people affected could still rise. There are many urgent needs but people have been left homeless and hungry, so shelter and food are particularly critical.

“We plan to provide families with food, other aid, or cash so that they can find shelter and buy essential supplies on the local markets where they’re functioning. Hygiene materials are also needed as water-borne diseases often spread fast after floods.

“People in Afghanistan have suffered a string of drought, earthquakes and floods over the last couple of years, on top of extreme hunger and economic crisis. The cumulative impact is devastating, but the international community has largely neglected the country. This is another reminder that people in Afghanistan continue to need support.

“Most of the deaths so far have been reported in Baghlan province in the north – where Islamic Relief has existing projects – but the floods have also affected parts of neighbouring provinces such as Takhar and Badakhshan. Local authorities have declared a state of emergency.

Flash flooding destroys more lives in Afghanistan

Almost 1,590 families have been affected by ongoing heavy rains and flash flooding across almost all regions in Afghanistan.

Since early April, flash floods, caused by heavy rainfall, have taken the lives of 35 people and left another 47 people injured. Further heavy rains in May have led to extensive flooding in several areas of the country.

Overall the most severely-affected provinces are Badghis, Farah, Hilmand, Kabul, Kandahar, Laghman, Nangahar, Parwan and Uruzgan.

There has been extensive damage to road infrastructure and agricultural lands.

Our teams are responding on the ground

Islamic Relief’s response will target families who have lost their homes and assets. We also support other vulnerable affected people, such as those with disabilities and orphaned children.

Our teams in Afghanistan have identified that priority needs are food, hygiene kits and shelter. We are already operating in some of the most severely affected areas and responding with immediate aid.

Currently, our teams are planning to provide humanitarian assistance to affected families in the Baghlan area. Previously, we were also on the ground in Balkh and Kunar. Where we provided cash grants to help families purchase food and emergency shelter items.

We are also coordinating our response with other humanitarian actors and authorities. By combining our efforts, we ensure affected communities are supported in the most effective way possible.

Afghanistan is in crisis

Back-to-back disasters have left thousands in Afghanistan struggling to survive. Help support families in need during this critical time.