WHO hopes for air bridge into northern Afghanistan in days to deliver supplies
GENEVA: Medical supplies will run out within days in Afghanistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday (Aug 27), adding that it hopes to establish an air bridge into the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif by then with the help of Pakistani authorities.
Trauma kits and emergency supplies for hospitals, as well as medicines for treating chronic malnutrition in children, are among priority items for Afghanistan, where 18 million people depend on aid, the WHO’s regional emergency director said.
“What remains certain is that humanitarian needs are enormous and growing,” Rick Brennan told a UN briefing.
At least one Islamic State suicide bomber killed 85 people, including 13 US soldiers, outside the gates of Kabul airport in twin blasts on Thursday evening.
More than 200 people wounded in the bombings have been taken to hospitals in the Afghan capital, including a facility run by the Italian NGO EMERGENCY whose trauma supplies are dwindling, said Brennan, speaking from Cairo.
“Right now because of security concerns and several other operational considerations, Kabul airport is not going to be an option for the next week at least,” he said.
“One of the problems we have in Afghanistan right now is there is no civil aviation authority functioning, but we are working with Pakistan particularly in the context of Mazar-i-Sharif airport. Because they can work with contacts on the ground so that all the necessary steps to land an aircraft, to land a cargo aircraft, can be put in place,” Brennan said.