As the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan worsens, the country’s ability to respond is fast deteriorating. WHO and UNICEF appeal for immediate and unhindered access to millions of people in need of assistance, including 300,000 people who have been displaced in the last two months alone.
While large air operations for the evacuation of internationals and vulnerable Afghans have been the emphasis in recent days, the tremendous humanitarian needs facing the rest of the people should not – and cannot – be overlooked. Afghanistan was already the world’s third-largest humanitarian effort prior to the recent events, with over 18 million people in need of assistance.
WHO and UNICEF have pledged to stay in Afghanistan and help the Afghan people.
We currently have no way of getting goods into the country or to those in need because commercial aircraft are not permitted to land in Kabul. Other humanitarian organizations face comparable challenges.
The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have called for the immediate development of a humanitarian air bridge to allow for the continuous and unhindered delivery of aid into Afghanistan. We’re also keeping close tabs on all UN and foreign partners to see what opportunities there are for expediting assistance shipments.
Both WHO and UNICEF, like all other UN agencies, emphasized the safety and security of our workers in the early days of the recent conflicts. Even when the fighting was at its worst, though, we continued to work. We’re committed to remaining in Afghanistan and delivering, and we’ve quickly altered gears to meet the demands of the country’s millions of Afghans.
Conflict, displacement, drought, and the COVID-19 pandemic all contribute to Afghanistan’s complicated and terrible condition. Humanitarian organizations must be supported and facilitated in order to fulfil Afghanistan’s massive and expanding needs and ensure that no one dies unnecessarily as a result of a lack of access to aid.