With roughly half of Afghanistan population in need of humanitarian assistance caught in the chaotic situation followed by US troops’ withdrawal, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday it’s left with only a week-worth medical supplies on ground, Axios reports.
WHO’s medical reserves came to critical level after 551 tons of supplies, including surgical equipment, from Dubai were blocked due to restrictions at the Kabul airport.
Warning on the deteriorating situation, WHO’s regional emergency director Richard Brennan expressed cautious optimism that deliveries will be back on track soon based on allegedly encouraging communications with the Taliban authorities that want the UN to remain in plase as well as continuity of health services.
The already existing humanitarian crisis, aggravated by sustained drought and the Covid-19 pandemic, in Afghanistan was further worsened by the chaotic evacuation efforts on the Kabul airport as described in UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s statement on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen informed Tuesday that the EU will increase its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by more than $175 million on top of the nearly $60 million the it has already pledged.
She’s expected to announce the move during G7 meeting on Tuesday, stressing the money will not go to the new Taliban regime but will be distributed through NG agencies like the UNHCR.
Despite the planned discussion on evacuation efforts extending, G-7 leaders would also seek a joint approach to humanitarian funding with a special focus on the millions internally displaced Afghans.