Afghanistan Earthquake Appeal

A deadly earthquake of 6.3 magnitude hit Afghanistan on Saturday 7 October 2023, taking the lives of 2,000 people so far and thousands more injured.


What we know so far

Image: destroyed villages in Herat, Afghanistan following the deadly 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Our Response:


Years of protracted conflict, climate change and now Covid-19 and the current political turmoil have pushed Afghanistan into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Millions of lives are at stake. The situation right now:

  • • An economic collapse and rising poverty.
  • • A looming famine.
  • • A crumbling health system.
  • • A looming cholera epidemic.
  • • Mass displacement.
  • • Gender injustice.


Families across Afghanistan are running out of food. 23 million people – more than half of the population – now face going hungry every day, and nearly 9 million people are just one step away from famine. Half of all children under five years old are expected to suffer from malnutrition this year. We are now heading into the coldest months of winter, when temperatures plummet below freezing, and many vulnerable families are at risk of perishing.

90 percent of people – including children and people with chronic or life threatening illnesses – do not have access to decent healthcare.

Photo: Afghanistan is heading for catastrophe this winter; one million children are at risk of dying from malnutrition, and 22 million people are facing hunger.
As winter approaches and poverty rises, conditions are rife for a potential cholera epidemic.Almost 600,000 people have been displaced within Afghanistan so far this year

Since the start of the year, escalating conflict and extreme hunger has forced nearly 700,000 people to flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere within Afghanistan, and more families have fled the country completely.

As needs increase, the current uncertainty and insecurity mean that much vital humanitarian work is on hold. It In recent years, even before the latest political changes, more than 2.2 million girls were out of school – 60 percent of the total out-of-school children in the country.


Photo: Afghanistan is heading for catastrophe this winter; one million children are at risk of dying from malnutrition, and 22 million people are facing hunger.
Local Recipient of Aid in Afghanistan


Islamic Relief has worked in Afghanistan since 1999 and is one of the few agencies to operate continuously throughout this difficult period. We have a team of almost 250 staff – nearly half of whom are women – and projects in 35 districts, providing emergency relief and long-term development across the country. We work impartially, in accordance with humanitarian principles, and support women and men of all ethnicities and religions. Last year alone our work in Afghanistan supported almost half a million (484,777) women, men and children.


Right now we are delivering life-saving food aid to thousands of people suffering from the growing hunger crisis. Islamic Relief teams are distributing parcels containing flour, oil, pulses, rice, sugar and salt to more than 11,000 families in Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Bamiyan and Kapisa provinces.


We are also running eight mobile health teams, which provide the only source of healthcare for many people in remote rural areas, and distributing hygiene and water storage kits to help prevent the spread of illnesses. As winter approaches we are distributing heaters and fuel, blankets, clothes and shelter materials to thousands of families. We also have psychological support staff carrying out home visits to support people’s mental health needs after years of conflict and crisis.


Long-term we aim to work with Afghan communities and civil society to help build a better future for the country, where every person lives in safety, has access to food, shelter, healthcare, water and education, and has the skills and opportunities to earn a sustainable living. Our long-term work in Afghanistan also includes:


• Disseminating vital public health information to reduce the spread of Covid-19
• Providing seeds and agricultural expertise for farmers, and fodder for livestock
• Increasing girls’ enrolment in school by training teachers and working with community elders
• Providing maternal healthcare, as well as antenatal and postnatal care
• Rehabilitating drug users and helping them to reintegrate into society
• Supporting women’s literacy, and giving vocational training to empower impoverished youth and women to earn an income
• Providing counselling and psychosocial support for women and children affected by gender-based violence.


We also support Afghan refugees all over the world, including in the US, UK and Europe – such as providing hot meals to new arrivals as well as legal assistance and mental health support.


The Arabic words Qurban or Udhiya refer to a sacrifice done to come close to God, honouring the momentous act of submission that Prophet Ibrahim made. Every year, during Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world slaughter an animal – typically a sheep, goat, camel, or cow – to commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim and his willingness to sacrifice what he loved most for the sake of Allah (SWT).

To ensure the funds are distributed to those in need in the regions where we work in, we do not provide the option of selecting a country. We predetermine the number of livestock for every country within each region, so that the needs of every country and the region, is served.

As part of a global family of Islamic Relief offices, Islamic Relief Australia fulfils Qurban distributions in select countries while other partners serve other selected countries. This ensures that the needs of multiple communities are met simultaneously, and that no country where we work is left out! This means that even though some countries are not listed on the Qurban options on our website, it does not mean that they are not being helped.  

Qurban is obligatory upon every able adult who has wealth in excess to their needs. Normally, those who are eligible to pay Zakat should give a Qurban.

The animals used are livestock animals, such as sheep, goats, cows, or buffalo.

1 sheep or goat = 1 Qurban
1 cow or buffalo = 7 Qurbans (one Qurban –one-seventh of the animal)

Since the selection of animals depends on the availability and customs of each region, we do not provide the option of selecting your animal of choice at the time of donation. Animals are instead pre-allocated within each region. We ensure that the animals are healthy, free from blindness and chronic sickness or disease or from any apparent ailment, and that they are of a fit age.

While the price for livestock animals differs from country to country, we base our price on the average calculated of those countries’ prices within each region. This price includes all costs associated with fulfilling and distributing your Qurban.


Islamic Relief Australia recognises the various opinions in the Islamic tradition and welcomes all to fulfil this religious right in consultation with local scholars.


We do not require the names, as the practice of reciting the name upon sacrificing is logistically very difficult to fulfil due to the vast requests we receive during this season. This is like the practice of offering sacrifice while on Hajj. The scholars have approved the sacrifice without the names if the intention of the person was made. We encourage everyone to make their intention when donating their Qurban.

No, as Islamic Relief is conducting hundreds of thousands of Qurbans around the world, this is practically not possible. It is also not necessary to give the name of the person, even if you are making a Qurban on behalf of someone else. If you have made the intention that you are giving this Qurban on behalf of a certain person that should be sufficient.

We select Qurban based on a scoring system according to need. The scoring system is based on the following objective criteria: families which live on less than the minimum income for that country – 40 points; female-headed households – 20 points; families with elderly persons or people with disabilities – 10 points; children under five years old – 5 points; pregnant women or lactating mothers – 5 points; families with little or no access to the market – 5 points. It is the policy of Islamic Relief to distribute only one Qurban meat pack to each family regardless of family size.

We are not able to carry out Qurbans for specific orphans because the scale of the project would make this logistically difficult. Donors can still carry out a general Qurban through the normal channels and pay the normal price. However, orphans do represent a category of high priority in all our programs and therefore they not only benefit from donors’ sponsorship, but also from receiving other support and aid during Ramadan and Qurban.

The slaughter will take place on one of the days of Eid. If you give a Qurban on the second or third day of Eid, the Qurban will still be carried out on one of the days of Eid, as Islamic Relief has already purchased the animals to be slaughtered beforehand. Qurbans are carried out based on forecasts drawn. If necessary, modifications are made, and additional funds are transferred to the relevant country. In effect, donors are paying towards Qurbans which are already allocated.


Islamic Relief's commitment to Afghanistan


Update: 25.06.2022 Afghanistan Earthquake Emergency On Wednesday 22nd June, at 01.30 local time, a powerful earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck the mountainous region of