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Afghanistan Earthquake Response

Support relief and recovery efforts in response to the October 2023 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Afghanistan's Herat region


Issue AreaDisaster

Tax benefit eligibilityUS, AU, HK SAR PRC

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SITUATION REPORT: October 8, 2023

Afghanistan, a nation grappling with prolonged crises encompassing humanitarian concerns, economic pressures, women’s rights issues, and recent natural disasters such as the 2022 earthquake and year-long drought, has just been hit by the most powerful earthquake ever experienced in nearly 20 years.   

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, at approximately 11 AM local time (06:30 GMT), a formidable earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 hit the region, originating 40 km (24 miles) northwest of Herat city. This seismic event triggered substantial aftershocks that reverberated through the neighboring provinces of Badghis and Farah. Officials have confirmed a staggering 2,060 lives lost, 1,240 injured, and 1,320 homes ruined. Approximately six villages lay in ruins, leaving many civilians trapped beneath the debris.   

The earthquake in Herat caused widespread panic among the public, leading residents to pour onto the streets due to the ongoing aftershocks. In Herat province, there are a total of 202 public health facilities, including a major regional hospital that has admitted 500 casualties, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These facilities mainly consist of smaller basic health centers, and the WHO has reported logistical challenges, especially in remote areas, where identifying casualties remains an ongoing issue amidst the continuous search and rescue operations. Furthermore, as winter approaches the region, homeless populations and many communities reluctant to return to their homes are grappling with the challenges of cold weather. 

In response to the disaster, ten rescue teams have been sent to the affected area, which shares a border with Iran. Hospitals received over 200 deceased individuals, predominantly comprising women and children. These bodies were then distributed to multiple locations, including military bases and hospitals, leading to makeshift beds being used outside the main hospital to accommodate the overwhelming number of victims. Taliban officials have made a public appeal for international assistance to address the aftermath of the disaster. 

Images on social media have revealed the structural damage suffered by Herat’s historic minarets, marked by noticeable cracks and displaced tiles. Afghanistan’s complex terrain, coupled with its proximity to seismic zones, particularly the Hindu Kush region along the Pakistan border, has historically made it susceptible to major earthquakes. The deathtoll is expected to rise as information slowly trickles in from remote and inaccessible areas. This challenge is exacerbated by the country’s war-damaged infrastructure, which adds complexity to the coordination of relief operations. 

Afghanistan’s healthcare system, heavily reliant on foreign aid, has faced severe cutbacks since the resurgence of the Taliban, resulting in a reduction in international assistance that had hitherto constituted a linchpin of the economy, thus undermining its ability to contend with crises. The confluence of these adversities, coupled with the Taliban’s restrictions on women’s activities and concurrent global humanitarian exigencies, has precipitated a decrease in donor support. In August, the International Committee of the Red Cross intimated the potential discontinuation of financial support to 25 Afghan hospitals due to financial constraints. However, it remains uncertain whether the Herat hospital is among those affected.   


The affected communities have limited access to food and emergency shelters. Immediate needs identified by our partners working on the ground include: 

  • Food, potable water, medication, warm clothing 
  • Shelter equipment, including blankets and beds 
  • Basic first aid medicine and medical equipment 
  • Personal hygiene items, especially for women and children 
  • Recovery support for the affected communities 


Give2Asia works with organizations that provide immediate relief and support long-term recovery and rehabilitation in Afghanistan. With the current political situation in the Country, the safety of people and partners working on the ground is our priority. The prevailing circumstances are notably fragile, with rapid and unpredictable shifts. Give2Asia will continue to update the situation as it unfolds. Considering these challenges, your immediate support is critical and much needed as we work diligently to assist those in need. Give2Asia partners supporting the Afghans are: 

International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation (IBC)

Since 2021, the International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation (IBC) has been actively meeting the needs of the Afghan community, partnering with local partners in the region following the change in regime. Drawing on its vast experience in responding to earthquakes and recovery efforts in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Indonesia, IBC has efficiently deployed its emergency response team to the recent Marrakesh earthquake.  

Currently, the organization is engaged in on-site assessments to pinpoint specific areas in urgent need of response and intervention. IBC focuses on the needs of the remote areas of Herat province, Zinda Jan district. Their immediate priority is the distribution of food, drinking water, medical and hygiene kits, and tents and blankets. The initial budget needed for emergency response support is approximately US$ 350,000.  


AfghanAid is an international charity that works alongside Afghans in the most remote and marginalized regions of the country to promote their economic, social, and political rights, helping poor communities to help themselves. AfghanAid has been supporting the Afghans for nearly 40 years. Their three principal areas of focus include: providing basic services, improving livelihoods, and reducing the risks of natural disasters. They promote good governance and gender rights in all of their work. Throughout all of their projects, community members are viewed as partners with essential resources and values to contribute.   


All donations received by Give2Asia will help affected communities in Afghanistan. Give2Asia will publish more details on the needs emerging in the coming days and weeks—and report on every dollar granted for relief and recovery. 

Click the “Donate” button above to make a credit card donation. For large gifts or corporate giving opportunities, please get in touch with our international giving team. 


About Give2Asia

Give2Asia is a trusted partner for international philanthropy and the leader in donor-advised giving to the Asia-Pacific. Our mission is to strengthen communities in Asia by making cross-border giving easier and more effective. Since 2001, Give2Asia has facilitated more than US$535 million of charitable grants across 30+ countries.

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