Disasters & Accidents

UNHCR to launches project to build quake-resistant housing in Afghanistan

Kabul, Aug 22 (EFE).- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Monday launched a project to build 2,300 earthquake-resistant houses in eastern Afghanistan, a region which was hit by a 5.9 magnitude quake in June that killed over a thousand people and wounded around 1,500.

“UNHCR is providing materials and supporting building costs for the construction of 2,000 winterized homes in both Giyan and Barmal districts of Paktika Province and 300 homes in Spera District of Khost Province,” the UN refugee agency’s Afghanistan representative Leonard Zulu said in a statement.

The project has been assigned a budget of over $14 million, which includes the purchase of construction material and a grant of $700 per family to cover labor costs.

“The Khost and Paktika areas have generously hosted thousands of refugees in recent years, some of whom were also affected by the earthquake. UNHCR’s shelter initiative will ensure homes for the most-affected households,” Zulu added.

The 5.9 magnitude tremor in late June had mainly affected the Paktika and Khost provinces in June, destroying hundreds of houses apart from the thousands of casualties.

Afghanistan has been facing a massive economic and humanitarian crisis since the Taliban seized power a year ago, with international sanctions aggravating the conditions in the already impoverished nation.

Due to the destruction caused by decades of war, a severe draught and other extreme weather phenomena, at least 59 percent of the Afghan population depends on aid for survival, as per UN data. EFE


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