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UN Says It Urgently Needs $110 Million For Afghanistan Quake Victims

Afghan quake survivors dry clothes on some old branches in the Bermal district of Paktika Province on June 23. (file photo)

The United Nations' humanitarian coordination organization, the OCHA, has launched an emergency appeal to help hundreds of thousands of people in areas of Afghanistan devastated by last week's deadly earthquake.

The 5.9-magnitude quake on June 22 struck villages in the mountainous regions of Paktika and Khost provinces near the country’s border with Pakistan, flattening homes and triggering landslides. At least 1,150 people were killed in the quake, and hundreds more were injured. Tens of thousands were left homeless.

OCHA said that together with its partners it had launched an appeal for $110 million to urgently help 362,000 people for the next 90 days in the hardest-hit areas of Paktika and Khost.

"In addition to the tragic deaths and injuries, the earthquake also destroyed homes, health facilities, schools, and water networks, leaving thousands vulnerable to further harm," spokesman Jens Laerke told reporters.

He said the appeal was part of this year's overall Humanitarian Response Plan for Afghanistan.

The plan's full implementation would require $4.4 billion, but has so far only been 34 percent funded, Laerke said.

"We and our partners are borrowing supplies, personnel, and resources from other humanitarian programs," the OCHA said in its statement.

On June 25, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths also released $10 million from the UN's Central Emergency Relief Fund to help boost the support.

With reporting by AP
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