Children and families at risk after 6.3-magnitude earthquake hits western Afghanistan

Statement attributable to UNICEF, with quotes attributed to Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan

08 October 2023
Afghan residents clear debris from a damaged house after the earthquake in Herat province on 7 October 2023.
UNICEF/UNI448657/Karimi AFP
Afghan residents clear debris from a damaged house after the earthquake in Herat province on 7 October 2023.

KABUL, 8 October 2023 – At about 11:00 yesterday morning, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake and several strong aftershocks shook western Afghanistan in Herat, Badghis and Farah provinces. Some of the most affected areas are just 40 kilometres from Herat city.

The full extent of the destruction is yet unknown, but initial estimates indicate that several hundred people, including women and children, lost their lives or were injured.

“Let me express our heartfelt condolences to families mourning the loss of loved ones,” said Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan. “Together with our partners, we will make every effort to bring quick relief to those affected,” he continued.

UNICEF teams are on the ground to help conduct additional assessments. The injured are being treated in nearby health facilities, with emergency drugs provided by UNICEF and partners. UNICEF is also providing emergency tents for overburdened health clinics.

UNICEF has dispatched 10,000 hygiene kits, 5,000 family kits, 1,500 sets of winter clothes, as well as blankets, 1,000 tarpaulins and basic household items, which will complement support provided by other UN agencies and partners.

“As always, UNICEF stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan during this difficult time,” concluded Equiza.


Donate now to support children and families affected by the earthquake.

Media contacts

Daniel Timme
Chief, Communication & Advocacy
UNICEF Afghanistan
Tel: +93 799 987 110
Sabrina Sidhu
Communication Specialist, Media
UNICEF South Asia
Tel: +91 98187 17522

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. 

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Afghanistan, visit https://www.unicef.org/afghanistan/