Flash flooding hit Afghanistan’s eastern provinces, destroying homes and leaving at least 4,000 people in need of urgent assistance. Save the Children teams have been meeting with families to assess the damage and provide emergency supplies. Photo: Save the Children
Four Children Die in Flash Floods as Afghanistan Marks One Year of Taliban Rule
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (August 16, 2022) – Four children and nine adults have died after torrential rain and flash flooding hit Afghanistan’s eastern provinces on Monday, destroying homes and leaving at least 4,000 people in need of urgent assistance; Save the Children said today.
The flash floods came as Afghanistan marked one year of Taliban rule and as the country continues to grapple with the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with almost half of the population going hungry, including 6 million children and adults who are on the brink of famine.[i]
Save the Children teams have been meeting with families in Nangarhar province – the worst-hit area – in the past 24 hours to assess the damage and to launch a response. They said homes, schools, and other vital infrastructure had been damaged, including water sources and irrigation systems.
The flash floods follow months of flooding across the southern and eastern regions of the country, which is very uncommon for this time of year. In July, floods killed at least 39 people and impacted more than 10,000 children and adults.[ii] Meanwhile, other areas of the country are still struggling to survive Afghanistan’s worst drought in 30 years.
Chris Nyamandi, Save the Children Country Director in Afghanistan, said:
“Children and their families in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces had no time to prepare as torrents of water surged through their homes, destroying their belongings and leaving their houses full of mud and rubbish. As a result, many families are now living out in the open, exposed to harsh conditions.
“Water supplies in the flood-hit areas have been contaminated, which places children at great risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera. When a disease outbreak hits during a disaster like this, it’s a race against time to help children survive. Thousands of children will need support to recover in the coming hours, days, and weeks.
“Life for Afghan children is just a relentless cycle of disaster after disaster. Children will not survive these ongoing natural disasters – which will continue to increase in severity and frequency as climate change takes hold – or the wider humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan unless urgent action is taken.
“The international community must provide immediate emergency funding and find a way to address the economic crisis, which is the key driver of the humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan. If world leaders do not heed our calls for support, millions of children will lose their lives.”
Save the Children is rapidly preparing emergency supplies in Nangarhar province and will provide families who have lost everything in the floods with essential items, such as clothing and shoes for children and adults, kitchen and cooking equipment, blankets, baby supplies, and hygiene items to prevent the spread of diseases.
Save the Children has worked in Afghanistan since 1976, including during periods of conflict, regime change, and natural disasters. We have programs in nine provinces and work with partners in an additional six provinces.
[i] The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) is an internationally recognized famine early-warning system based on a scale from 1 (minimal food stress) to 5 (catastrophe/famine). According to the IPC report: 18.9M people (9.2 M children) are projected to face high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and above) between June and Nov 2022. There are 5.97 million people currently in ICP 4, one level below IPC 5, which is famine.
[ii] UNICEF: https://reliefweb.int/report/afghanistan/unicef-afghanistan-humanitarian-situation-report-8-1-31-july-2022
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Thank you for signing up! Now, you’ll be among the first to know how Save the Children is responding to the most urgent needs of children, every day and in times of crisis—and how your support can make a difference. You may opt-out at any time by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of any email.