The death toll from a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan has climbed above 2,400, as the UN expands its response.
The quake hit Herāt in the country’s northwest on Saturday, destroying thousands of homes.
Over 500 people have been reported missing as search and rescue efforts continue to try and save the hundreds feared buried in the rubble.
Aid response to earthquake in Afghanistan
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has called for global support to assist Afghanistan’s earthquake victims, “many of whom were already in need before this crisis.”
In August, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said millions were living with limited to no access to healthcare in Afghanistan.
It described the situation as a “critical humanitarian concern”, and called for “urgent” funding to improve infrastructure.
In response to the earthquake, the UN has contributed nearly $AU8 million in emergency humanitarian funding to recovery efforts. The UN Children’s Fund has sent thousands of hygiene kits, winter blankets, and household items to the region.
A representative from the UN in Afghanistan said aid efforts were focused on bringing “quick relief to those affected”.
Doctors Without Borders is providing support to local hospitals, while CARE International has set up mobile medical clinics.