20 February 2024
Herat Earthquakes 2023 Post-Disaster Needs Assessment
The United Nations – together with the World Bank, the European Union, and the Asian Development Bank - has released a comprehensive Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report for Afghanistan's Herat Province, hit by devastating earthquakes in October 2023. The report highlights the scale of the disaster: direct physical damage up to US$ 217 million and losses reaching US$ 78.9 million. The assessment underscores an urgent need for US$ 402.9 million to support the critical recovery and reconstruction efforts in the province. Besides assessing damage, losses, and recovery and reconstruction needs, the assessment evaluates broader macro-economic and human impacts and proposes principles for a comprehensive recovery and reconstruction framework. It cautions about persistent widespread poverty, slow economic recovery, job scarcity, banking sector instability, adverse impact on mental health and wellbeing, and climate vulnerability, exacerbating Afghanistan's ongoing economic challenges. The PDNA emphasizes the critical need to transition from immediate humanitarian aid to long-term recovery. Recovery strategies should prioritize building community resilience, service restoration, earthquake-safe housing, livelihoods options, social protection, and access to basic services, especially for the most affected families. The PDNA supports principles of building back better, emphasising women's empowerment and reducing disaster risks and enhancing climate resilience. This first-of-its-kind, multi-partner joint assessment since August 2021 showcases an international resolve to address the needs of disaster-affected communities and support their recovery. The assessment – launched in October 2023 – relied on field data, publicly available information, and remote sensing analytics.