UNDP’s response to Herat earthquake in the media
October 15, 2023
The magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure. Entire villages were destroyed, hundreds of lives have been lost and livelihoods were devastated. The quake added to the already dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, where millions of people are facing food insecurity, displacement, and poverty. Stephen Rodriques, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Afghanistan Resident Representative, has exclusive interviews about the Herat earthquake with the national internal media.
In this exclusive interview with Voice of America, UNDP's Resident Representative in Afghanistan, Stephen Rodriques, shares his insights into the humanitarian and development response to the recent earthquakes that devastated parts of the country. He explains how UNDP is working to provide immediate and long-term assistance to the affected communities, especially women and children who face unique challenges and vulnerabilities.
This special interview by TOLO News with UNDP's Resident Representative in Afghanistan, Stephen Rodriques, sheds light on UNDP's collaborative efforts, working alongside other UN agencies and partners to provide essential relief, including food, transitional shelters, and cash-for-work initiatives.
Looking towards the long-term recovery, the Res Rep outlines UNDP's plans, including a comprehensive post-disaster needs assessment. He also discusses the response to rebuilding permanent shelters, restoring livelihoods through cash-for-work, and reconstructing social infrastructure such as schools and health centers. The RR acknowledges the urgency, especially with winter approaching, and emphasizes the multi-year effort required for a full reconstruction. The interview continues with a discussion on the coordination between UNDP and other agencies, dispelling criticism of a lack of cooperation and underscoring the need for international support to bridge funding shortfalls, with an estimated $93.6 million required for the UN's initial response. The interview concludes with a discussion about women’s severe restrictions and other challenges in Afghanistan.
The fact women and children accounted for almost 90 percent of those killed was reflective of the social norms and cultural restrictions in remote villages where men impose restrictions on women.
That’s according to the Resident Representative of UNDP in Afghanistan, Stephen Rodriques, who said many men were outside farming or working across the border while women and children stayed at home.
From Kabul, he told UN News’s Vibhu Mishra what he had seen for himself when he visited the deadly quake zone.
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