The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that it only has a week’s worth of supplies left in Afghanistan after restrictions imposed at Kabul airport prevented the group from taking delivery of a 500 tonne shipment.
Speaking at an online briefing on Tuesday, officials from the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean office issued a stark warning about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan.
On Monday, more than 500 tons of medical supplies, including surgical equipment and malnutrition kits, had been due to be delivered, but the WHO said restrictions at Kabul airport prevented the shipment from taking place.
So far, the WHO has managed to provide food and medical supplies to around 300,000 people in Afghanistan within the past two months. With UN agency UNICEF warning that more than 10 million children in the country need urgent humanitarian aid before conditions worsen and around half of the population reliant on support, the WHO has said it only has enough supplies to last for another week.
The WHO has urged countries to divert planes to carry supplies from its warehouse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Afghanistan on their return from evacuating people out of the country. However, so far, the US and NATO allies have refused, claiming “operational constraints and security concerns” prevent them from delivering supplies.
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The concerns about the dwindling number of available supplies on the ground comes as the WHO stated that a spike in Covid cases, alongside a fall in virus testing, could lead to a worrying outbreak of Covid throughout Afghanistan.
While the group has 95% of its health facilities operating despite the Taliban seizing control, some female staff have not returned to work and there are female patients unwilling to leave home to seek treatment.
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