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Gender Update on the earthquake in Paktika and Khost Provinces, GiHA Working Group and Women Advisory Group (WAG) to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Country Team (HCT)- 23 June 2022

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Initial findings

On 22 June, at 01:30am, an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 has struck the southeastern provinces of Paktika and Khost (Central Region of Afghanistan), killing at least 770 people and injuring another 15001 . 1500 homes have reportedly been destroyed and damaged in Gayan2 (Paktika Province).

According to OCHA3 and humanitarian teams delivering the response in the two provinces, immediate needs identified on the ground on 22 June include emergency trauma care, emergency shelter and non-food items, food assistance and WASH.

Additional reports have been received by GiHA WG and the WAG from women civil society actors in Paktika and Khost highlighting challenges faced by women, men, girls and boys in the face of the earthquake. They have in particular underlined the need for urgent temporary shelter which is adapted to women, girls and other at risk groups’ safety. Non-Food Items (NFI), including clothes and dignity and hygiene kits were also seen as a priority.
Regarding WASH, civil society actors reported the urgent need for women and girls to access washrooms and water points as a key concern. Finally, initial reports pointed out the lack of female humanitarian workers in the emergency response, which could induce challenges in reaching women and girls with humanitarian relief. Similarly, consultations with women Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and their direct participation in the response was highlighted as a critical entry point to reach women and girls.

Considering the many restrictions women and girls are already facing in Afghanistan, and the difficulties faced by humanitarian actors in reaching them, joint needs assessments carried out over the coming days by humanitarian actors in the Paktika and Khost provinces should consider the following issues to ensure humanitarian aid reaches women and girls and vulnerable groups victims of the earthquake.