FOOD CRISIS: UN agencies have warned that Afghanistan may run out of food supplies by September 2021.
The UN said that first aid supplies, including surgical and malnutrition kits, were stuck due to restrictions.
It emphasized the need for urgent aid dispatch to Afghanistan as the Taliban takeover leaves the country with a governance Vacuum.
FOOD CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the closure of the airport for commercial flights has held up key deliveries.
” Stephane Dujarric-Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-general: In the past week, the World Health Organization has distributed trauma and medical kits from existing supplies to hospitals in KABUL, KUNDUZ, and Helmand to support health services for tens of thousands of people in need. but supplies are dwindling. and they need to be replenished. The country’s humanitarian response plan for 2021. which requires 1.3 billion dollars to help more than 18 million people is 39% funded, leaving a deficit of about 786 million dollars with more than a half of a year to go.”
Currently, the World Food Programme(WFP) is getting food supplies to Afghanistan through four different supply routes.
The WFP said that 50% of supplies arrived through humanitarian crossings from Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan.
However, these routes are likely to get closed during winters and the UN is worried that food supplies may start running out by September.
”Andrew Patterson – WFP deputy Country Director in Afghanistan: Winter is coming. We are entering the lean season and many Afghan roads will be covered with snow. We need to transport food to our warehouses where it can be distributed. We need another 54,000 metric tons of food to get the Afghan people to the end of December. We may start to run out of food by September.”
The UN body needs to raise around $200 million to buy enough food for up to an estimated 20 million people.
Reports say nearly 18.5 million people are already dependent on humanitarian aid and the crisis is expected to aggravate further.
WFP AID FOR AFGHANS
The World Food Programme highlighted that it was working to overcome the challenges created by the Taliban’s takeover.
Aid agencies say that medical and food supplies reach some 300,000 people displaced in Afghanistan.
”Dr. Richard Brennam – Regional Emergency Director. Eastern Mediterranean Region: While the world’s eyes now turn to the people being evacuated and the departing aircraft, we need to provide supplies to help those stranded”
The WHO has called on empty planes to be diverted to their warehouses in Dubai to collect supplies on their way to pick up evacuees from Afghanistan.
THE CRISIS AT KABUL AIRPORT AGGRAVATES THE PROBLEM
The closure of Kabul airport for commercial flights has held up deliveries of food and essential medicines.
Over 500 tonnes of medical supplies including surgical equipment, malnutrition kits have been stuck at Kabul Airport.
The WHO is also looking at setting up a humanitarian air bridge to send in supplies.
WHO is exploring other airport options such as Kandahar, Jalalabad, and Bagram air bases to provide supplies.
Meanwhile, the former Afghan Vice President has accused the Taliban of blocking food and fuel supplies to the Andarab Valley of the northern Baghlan Province.