The World Health Organization will soon run out of supplies for Afghanistan and will need help to ferry in 10 or 12 planeloads of equipment and medicine for its beleaguered people, a top official said.
“We estimate we’ve only got a few days left of supplies,” said Rick Brennan, who heads WHO’s eastern Mediterranean region that includes Afghanistan.
“We have 500 metric tonnes ready to go, but we haven’t got any way of getting them into the country right now.”
Speaking from Cairo, Mr Brennan said the UN health agency was negotiating with the US and other countries to help replenish strained stockpiles.
They have encouraged WHO and partners to look to other Afghan airports than Kabul, which is facing a crush of thousands of people trying to get out of Afghanistan after a Taliban takeover, he said.
He said those authorities “have suggested that it’ll be too difficult a logistics exercise and security exercise to bring supplies into Kabul,” where teams would be required to unload planes and allow in trucks to carry out the supplies – which could complicate the evacuations.
Necessary supplies included emergency kits and essential medicines for treatment of chronic diseases, like diabetes, the WHO said.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that we might need to get something done in the coming days,” Mr Brennan said, before adding, “We need a consistent humanitarian air bridge into the country ASAP.”