Afghan health ministry has called on the international community and humanitarian organisations to provide food and medicine as the survivors don’t have proper houses and shelters for living.

Relief effort remains patchy due to funding and access constraints.
Relief effort remains patchy due to funding and access constraints. (Reuters)

Thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan are in need of clean water and food and are at risk of disease, the Afghan health ministry has warned.

"The people are extremely needy for food and clean water," Afghanistan's health ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman said on Sunday.

He added that officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

"We ask the international community, humanitarian organisations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don’t have proper houses and shelters for living," he said.

At least 1,000 people were killed, 2,000 injured and 10,000 homes destroyed in Wednesday's earthquake, after which the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) warned that cholera outbreaks in the aftermath are of particular and serious concern.

READ MORE: Afghan quake survivors suffer as aid hampered by floods

'Everything is under rubble'

The disaster is a major test for Afghanistan's Taliban rulers, who have seized control of the country last year.

Helping thousands of Afghans is also a challenge for countries that had imposed sanctions on Afghan government bodies and banks, cutting off direct assistance, leading to a humanitarian crisis even before the earthquake.

The United Nations and several other countries have rushed aid to the affected areas, with more due to arrive over the coming days.

Afghanistan's Taliban administration called for a rolling back of sanctions and lifting a freeze on billions of dollars in central bank assets stashed in Western financial institutions.

In Kabul, hospitals more used to treating victims of war have opened their wards to earthquake victims, but a majority of people remain in the areas destroyed by the earthquake.

"Our houses were destroyed, we have no tent... there are lots of children with us. We have nothing. Our food and clothes...everything is under rubble," Hazrat Ali, 18, said in Wor Kali, a village of the hardest-hit Barmal district.

READ MORE: US urged to return Afghan foreign funds as quake survivors wait for aid

Source: Reuters