The World Health Organization has established an air bridge into the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif with the help of Pakistani authorities after warning on Friday that Afghanistan’s medical supplies would run out within days.
A plane carrying World Health Organization medicines and health supplies has landed in Afghanistan, the UN health agency said, the first shipment to get in since the country came under the control of the Taliban.
"After days of non-stop work to find a solution, I am very pleased to say that we have now been able to partially replenish stocks of health facilities in Afghanistan and ensure that – for now – WHO-supported health services can continue," Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO regional director for the eastern Mediterranean, said in a statement.
The WHO had warned on Friday that medical supplies would run out within days in Afghanistan, announcing that it hoped to establish an air bridge into the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif by then with the help of Pakistani authorities.
Touchdown🔴 Today the first plane carrying @WHO medicines and health supplies landed in #Afghanistan to cover the basic health needs of over 200K people & provide 3500 #surgical procedures & treat 6500 trauma patients. pic.twitter.com/aX9jhbOZl8— WHO EMRO (@WHOEMRO) August 30, 2021
The 12.5 tonnes of supplies that arrived on Monday consist of trauma kits and emergency health kits, 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, the WHO said.
They will be delivered to 40 health facilities in 29 provinces across Afghanistan, it added.
The plane carrying @WHO health supplies that arrived in #Afghanistan a few hours ago was loaded with the supplies earlier today by WHO’s logistics team at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and flown directly to Mazar-i-Sharif airport. pic.twitter.com/BbX3ohVINF— WHO Afghanistan (@WHOAfghanistan) August 30, 2021
The plane, which was provided by the government of Pakistan, flew from Dubai to Mazar-e-Sharif airport. It was the first of three flights planned with Pakistan International Airlines to fill urgent shortages in medicines and medical supplies in Afghanistan.