With dried up foreign aid, Afghanistan braces for humanitarian crisis

United Nations has warned that a far greater humanitarian crisis is just beginning in Afghanistan, urging the international community to not turn their eyes away.
Humanitarian Crisis

Kabul, Sep 7 : After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, international aid, which evidently constitutes and caters to all basic facilitations of the country, has been suspended, leaving the country’s basic healthcare facilities on the verge of a total collapse and looming threats of a humanitarian disaster.

Around 2,000 clinics and other health related facilities in Afghanistan are donor-funded, which are expected to shut their doors within a few days as there is no money to run operations.

The worsening situation of hospitals and healthcare facilities in Afghanistan and no sight of foreign aid, may just leave millions of locals from facilitation of access to primary or secondary healthcare.

“The closure, amounting to 90 per cent of clinics funded by a World Bank administered donor pot, would also leave only a fraction of Afghanistan’s Covid-19 isolation beds still operating”, said the World Health Organization (WHO).

Doctors and healthcare nurses at the Kabul Emergency Hospital say they are running out of medicines, basic and emergency needs of critical patients in the ICU.

“Medicines, drips, injections and even swabs are ending in the hospital. We will not be able to treat the patients in the coming days. The patients admitted in the hospital will be left with no medication”, said a doctor working at the Kabul Emergency Hospital.

World Bank and other major donors, inject over $600 million to the Sehatmandi programme in Afghanistan, which forms the driving force behind the country’s aid dependent health system. However, after the Taliban takeover, the donors have frozen aid payments to Afghanistan.

“The decision leads the system close to collapse. People, mothers, children, malnourished infants, those in need of vaccination, will be deprived of access to healthcare services”, said Dr Wahid Majrooh.

It is pertinent to mention that Afghanistan’s healthcare system was in disarray even before the Taliban takeover as thousands of healthcare workers and doctors have not received their salaries for several months.

Moreover, NGOs working on foreign funded community development projects also fear of closure of such important projects in the coming days.

“We have health and community development projects funded by the World Bank through the government. These activities will be shut down if financial support is not provided in the near future”, said a staff member of an NGO who has not been paid for the past five months.

United Nations has warned that a far greater humanitarian crisis is just beginning in Afghanistan, urging the international community to not turn their eyes away.

“There are about 39 million Afghans who are still in Afghanistan. They need us, governments, humanitarians, ordinary citizens, to stay with them and stay the course”, said Fillipo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Half of Afghanistan is in need of aid, and half the children are malnourished after decades of conflict and drought”, aid Isabelle Moussard Carlsen, head of United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Afghanistan.

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