WHO Says It Only has Medical Supplies in Afghanistan for a Week

A senior regional World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday, August 24, that the organization only has enough supplies in Afghanistan to last for a week after medical equipment deliveries were blocked by Kabul airport restrictions.

The United Nations agency expressed concern that the current turmoil in Afghanistan could trigger more COVID-19 infections, with testing dropping by 77% in the past week and vaccinations also down, according to officials from the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean office.

WHO officials said in an online briefing that 95% of the health facilities in Afghanistan were still operational, but some women in staff had not returned to their posts and female patients were scared to leave their homes.

WHO’s regional emergency director Richard Brennan said that the agency was encouraged by feedback from countries to fly in supplies and was hoping for progress this week. He added, “We’re in negotiations with three or four countries… I think we will be able to secure flights.”

The U.N. said that more than 18 million people, over half of Afghanistan’s population, need humanitarian aid to survive. 

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