AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian Update (30 August 2021)
The following is a near-verbatim transcript from the noon briefing on 30 August 2021 by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General.
Medicines and Health Supplies
The World Health Organization said a plane carrying its medicines and health supplies landed today in Afghanistan. This is the first shipment of medical supplies to land in the country since the Taliban took control. The 12.5 metric tons of supplies are enough to cover the basic health needs of more than 200,000 people, as well as provide 3,500 surgical procedures and treat 6,500 trauma patients. They will be immediately delivered to 40 health facilities in 29 provinces across Afghanistan. The plane, which was provided by the Government of Pakistan, flew directly to Mazar-i-Sharif. This is the first of three flights planned with Pakistan International Airlines to fill urgent shortages in medicines and medical supplies. (read more)
Farmers and Herders
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also said that food production and agricultural livelihoods are under extreme pressure in Afghanistan. FAO warned that if we fail to assist the people most impacted by the acute drought, large numbers will be forced to abandon their farms and be displaced in certain areas. FAO added that Afghan herders and livestock owners also urgently need assistance to counter the impact of drought during the coming winter season. Three million animals are estimated to be at risk, making livestock protection urgently critical for herders and livestock owners across the country. FAO, along with its partners, is working to ensure access to livelihood protection assistance and to strengthen resilience capacity of farmers and herders in Afghanistan. (read more)
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, noted that the airlifts out of Kabul will be ending in a matter of days, and that the tragedy that has unfolded will no longer be as visible. But it will still be a daily reality for millions of Afghans. The High Commissioner stressed that we must not turn away and that a far greater humanitarian crisis is just beginning. He pointed out that 3.5 million people have already been displaced by violence within Afghanistan, more than half a million since the start of this year, and that most have no regular channels through which to seek safety. (read more)