More than 500 tons of medical supplies, including surgical equipment and kits for severe malnutrition to be delivered to Afghanistan this week, are stuck due to restrictions at Kabul airport, the World Health Organization said Monday.
Aid agencies say it is critical that medical and food supplies reach some 300,000 people displaced in Afghanistan in the past two months, amid the Taliban advance that culminated in the capture of Kabul on August 15.
Nearly 18.5 million people – half the population – depend on aid and humanitarian needs are expected to increase due to drought.
“While the eyes of the world are now on the people being evacuated and the planes taking off, we need to bring in supplies to help those who are left behind,” WHO spokesman Inas Hamam said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
She said the WHO called on empty planes to divert to its warehouse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to pick up supplies en route to pick up evacuees from the country.
The WHO is also considering setting up a “humanitarian airlift” to send in supplies, she said.
The executive director of the UN Children’s Agency, UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, said on Monday that about 10 million children across Afghanistan are in need of humanitarian assistance and conditions are expected to deteriorate further.
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