Humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

Support for people affected by earthquake disaster.

Funding of £250,000 will be provided to aid charities responding to those affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Afghanistan in mid-October through the Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF).

Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and Christian Aid will receive funds from HEF to help hundreds of families, who have seen their homes destroyed by the earthquake and help them to rebuild their lives.

Christian Aid will support 1,550 people from 310 households, which have been affected through multi-purpose assistance while SCIAF will provide winter items to 1,050 people from 150 households, who are facing into a harsh winter after losing their homes.

International Development Minister Christina McKelvie has pledged the funding which will help thousands of people impacted by the catastrophe survive this winter where temperatures in Afghanistan can plunge to lows of -21°C.

Ms McKelvie said:

“Our thoughts are with the thousands of people in Afghanistan struggling to survive and facing into an uncertain winter in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Herat in October.

“The damage was substantial, with over 10,000 homes completely destroyed. Seven weeks on, the task of rebuilding is a complex one that will take time.

“HEF funding will help people start to rebuild their lives and look towards 2024 with a greater sense of optimism and hope. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our partners at HEF to provide the humanitarian aid needed to make a positive difference in Afghanistan.”

Chief Executive of SCIAF Lorraine Currie added:

“SCIAF works to prevent disasters around the world – but when they do strike, we respond as soon as possible through local partners. This allows us to work quickly and effectively in some of the most challenging places on earth – like Afghanistan – ensuring we serve those most in need.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland for this funding support.”

Christian Aid’s Country Manager for Afghanistan Subrata De said:

“As we move into the colder winter months the situation for communities where homes have been damaged or destroyed remains bleak.  Resilience is very low due to the multiple challenges they are already facing including hunger and food insecurity. 

“We are grateful for the Scottish Government funding which will allow us to provide cash support, allowing people to buy the things they need like warm clothing, blankets and food. This support complements our existing and ongoing work through local partners in the Herat region.”


The Humanitarian Emergency Fund provides aid in the aftermath of a crisis. 

The HEF panel is made up of eight leading humanitarian aid organisations in Scotland who advise and access the fund: Mercy Corps, Oxfam, British Red Cross, Islamic Relief, SCIAF, Christian Aid, Tearfund and Save the Children.

Both SCIAF and Christian Aid will receive funding of £125,000.

Between 7 and 15 October three powerful (6.3 magnitude) earthquakes struck Herat Province, affecting 1.6 million people with high intensity shaking (MMI 6+) and leaving thousands of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Based on the latest assessment findings, a total of 48,347 families, comprising more than 275,000 people in 382 villages were directly affected by a series of seismic events on 7, 11 and 15 October.

The affected villages are situated in the districts of Herat, Injil, Kushk, Zindajan, Gulran, Guzara, Ghoryan, Karukh, and Kohsan in Herat Province, with Injil and Zindajan districts worst affected. Approximately one-third of all earthquake-affected people are in Injil, with the majority of the more than 3,330 destroyed homes located in Zindajan.

The devastation caused by these earthquakes has been substantial, with 10,002 houses completely destroyed, 20,430 houses severely damaged, and 17,588 houses moderately damaged.


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