SINGAPORE— The Singapore Red Cross will commit S$50,000 to support affected communities in Afghanistan after an earthquake hit the country on Wednesday (Jun 22).
More than 1,000 people have died in the quake that was initially estimated at magnitude 6.1 but revised to 5.9.
The death toll is expected to rise as search and rescue missions continue, said the Singapore Red Cross on Thursday.
Hundreds of homes in the southeastern provinces of Paktika and Khost were destroyed in the quake, which was the country’s worst in 20 years.
The contribution from the Singapore Red Cross will “support the immediate needs of those affected, including food, emergency shelter, emergency trauma care, non-food items as well as water, sanitation and hygiene items”, it said.
A public fundraising appeal will also be launched to support relief and recovery operations.
Singapore Red Cross secretary-general and CEO Benjamin William said: “We are deeply saddened by the devastation and loss of lives, especially for a country that is already facing a dire economic and humanitarian crisis.
“The survivors are in urgent need of clean water, food and shelter, which we are working with our partners on the ground to provide. The road ahead to rebuild and recover will be challenging, and we appeal to everyone to lend a hand.”
Singapore Red Cross’ contribution will directly support the humanitarian response by Red Cross and Red Crescent partners on the ground, including the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Relief items such as blankets, tents, tarpaulins, water containers, food and water, are on the way to the affected zones, Singapore Red Cross said.
Mobile health teams and ambulances have been redirected to the affected areas to provide medical assistance and to transport the injured, it added.
ARCS and IFRC are providing immediate aid and conducting needs assessments on the ground and the Singapore Red Cross remains in close contact with them to monitor the situation.
“This humanitarian emergency has come at a time when the country is already reeling from the impact of a prolonged drought, famine and an economic crisis,” said the Singapore Red Cross.
“In addition, challenging terrain and recent weather conditions have hampered efforts to reach areas in need of assistance, which were already vulnerable due to landslides, flooded roads and fragile infrastructure.”
Members of the public may make a donation to the Singapore Red Cross to support Afghan communities. Details on how to donate will soon be published on its website once the fundraising appeal is launched.