Standing Strong Together: Global Solidarity in the Wake of Afghanistan’s Earthquake

By: Maliha Shirzay,
It is essential to demonstrate solidarity with the victims of the earthquake in Afghanistan.

Welcome to our blog, the Human Righter. We shed light on contemporary human rights issues and comment on human rights developments. We dig deep into our focus areas within human rights, discuss SDGs and human rights. You will also find book reviews and analyses of new laws. 

This text was written by Maliha Shirzay, Afghanistan Programme intern.

Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon that can wreak havoc anywhere in the world. Due to their unpredictable nature, earthquakes can cause widespread loss of life, displace people, and damage buildings, roads, and bridges. They can also trigger secondary hazards like landslides, tsunamis, and fires, which can exacerbate the situation. To minimize the damage and loss of life caused by earthquakes, it is crucial that we take appropriate measures to safeguard ourselves and reduce their impact.

During times of natural disasters, it is crucial to demonstrate solidarity with those who urgently require assistance. The recent earthquake in Afghanistan has brought about extensive loss of life and property, and our compassionate thoughts go out to all those affected during this challenging time. It is crucial that they receive the essential aid and support needed to recover from this catastrophe. As an Afghan citizen, I am appreciative of the international community’s support and unity.

According to Kumar, one of Aljazira’s correspondents, modern equipment and skilled search and rescue teams are crucial in reducing the number of casualties and mitigating the severity of the situation. It is imperative for the international community to provide prompt technical aid to address this urgent matter.

On Saturday, October 7th, 2023, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 hit the western province of Herat in Afghanistan. According to the BBC, there have been several aftershocks since then. The Zindajan district, which is located 40km away from Herat, has been severely affected by the earthquake.

The earthquake caused widespread and severe damage to buildings, roads, and other infrastructure, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. The Afghan authorities and international aid agencies responded quickly to the disaster, but rescue and recovery efforts were hampered by the region’s rugged terrain and poor infrastructure. According to reports, more than 2,000 people are missing, and the death toll is expected to rise as the full extent of the damage becomes clear.

The aftermath of the persistent conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in insufficient infrastructure and building services, leaving the country vulnerable to the escalating frequency and intensity of earthquakes in the region.

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in 2021, many foreign organizations have ceased providing assistance to the country. While this may appear to have exacerbated the vulnerability of the Afghan people, it is worth noting that the departure of highly skilled Afghans has also had a profound impact. These individuals, who possessed education and training in a variety of fields, played a pivotal role in the country’s development and progress. Their absence has left Afghanistan’s already vulnerable regions and populations in an even more precarious state, further compounding the harm caused by decades of warfare, political turmoil, and economic hardship.

To effectively address the pressing environmental issues faced by communities, it is paramount to adopt a human rights approach and proactively engage with those most impacted. While expressing gratitude towards aid efforts provided by the global community in Afghanistan, it is vital to rally for increased solidarity with the Afghan people and the aftermath of their struggles.

I am deeply thankful for the tireless efforts of both national and international aid agencies who are providing critical assistance to those affected by the earthquake. It is crucial that we uphold compassion and humanity in the face of such challenges. I sincerely hope that there won’t be any hindrance during the international aid process aimed at addressing this urgent issue.


BBC (2023) Afghanistan: Hundreds dead and homes flattened in earthquakes, BBC News, 12 October. 

Care (2023) Afghanistan: CARE begins emergency response to support communities affected by powerful earthquake, CARE International

Kumar, R. (2023) People in quake-hit Afghanistan use shovels, bare hands to pull out victims.

WHO (2023) Earthquakes – PAHO/WHO | Pan American Health Organization.

Featured image: by Mohammad Rahmani 

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