UNDP Afghanistan's message on the earthquake that struck Herat province

October 10, 2023

Sia Ab village in Herat province of Afghanistan.

Photo: UNDP Afghanistan

We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and suffering following the devastating earthquake in western Afghanistan. As part of the United Nations family, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) stands ready to support affected people in the coming days, weeks and months as they recover from this tragedy.

The magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure. Entire villages were destroyed, hundreds of lives have been lost and livelihoods devastated. The quake added to the already dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, where millions of people are facing food insecurity, displacement, and poverty.

"Our hearts go out to the people who have been affected by this devastating tragedy,” said Stephen Rodriques, UNDP Afghanistan Resident Representative. “We stand in solidarity with the Afghan people as they cope with this disaster.”    

UNDP will work alongside our partners and coordinate with the UN Country team to ensure that those affected are supported in this process. Given the scale of this disaster, we underline the urgent need for international support.  

UNDP has several ongoing programmes in Herat that are building essential community infrastructure and services, including providing access to solar energy, and water supply, and rehabilitating schools and health facilities. UNDP also has cash-for-work programmes and provides small grants to thousands of small and micro-businesses. The response package will also specifically address the unique needs of women in the region.

"We are quickly reviewing our existing programmes in the region to see how we can redeploy our resources as part of our crisis response package. We are aiming to support a large-scale coordinated reconstruction effort focusing on rebuilding homes ahead of the coming winter, restoring public facilities including basic power and water supply and, of course, providing livelihoods for people especially through cash-for-work programmes," said the UNDP Resident Representative.  

We are committed to working with the people of Herat province and Afghanistan in this difficult time, and we commend their resilience and strength in the face of adversity.