A press release issued by the European Union (EU) Delegation to Tajikistan on May 15 says the European Union is allocating €80,000 (over 960,000 Tajikistani somonis) to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to families affected by the earthquake that struck Tajikistan late March.  The aid will benefit some 2,000 people in the worst-hit areas of Sughd province.

This EU funding will support the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan (RCST) in delivering immediate assistance through the provision of cash grants to families whose homes have been destroyed or damaged, and hygiene kits to maintain good hygiene. In addition, it will help provide earthquake victims with psychological support in the aftermath of the disaster.

The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

More than 2,200 people were affected when a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Tajikistan at a shallow depth of six kilometers on March 23.  The epicenter was located approximate four kilometers north of Poldarok village in Kuhistoni Mastchoh district, the northern province of Sughd.  Followed by several aftershocks, the tremor caused substantial damage to many homes and infrastructure.  The quake killed a number of cattle and damaged a main canal, affecting people’s livelihoods and hampering access to clean water supplies.