UN releases funds to save Afghan health system from collapse | United Nations News
The UN aid chief releases $ 45 million in emergency funds to boost life-saving aid in Afghanistan.
The UN aid chief has released $ 45 million in emergency funds in Afghanistan to prevent the collapse of the Afghan health system.
Martin Griffiths, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in a statement on Wednesday that he was releasing funds from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund to boost aid vital in Afghanistan.
“Allowing the Afghan health care delivery system to collapse would be catastrophic,” he said, adding that medicines, medical supplies and fuel were running out and essential health workers were failing. were not paid.
“People across the country would be denied access to primary health care such as emergency cesarean sections and trauma care.”
The Afghan health system was plunged into crisis after the Taliban came to power last month. International donors, including the World Bank and the European Union, have frozen funds for Afghanistan, complicating aid delivery and leaving many health facilities understaffed.
The funds will go to United Nations health and children’s agencies, enabling them – with the help of partner NGOs – to keep hospitals, COVID-19 centers and other health facilities in operation until the end of the year.
âThe United Nations is determined to stand with the Afghan people when they need it,â Griffiths said.
Aid agencies have warned of a “looming humanitarian crisis” unless aid flows resume in the country. The World Health Organization said earlier this month that 90% of its clinics were to close imminently as the situation in Afghanistan grew increasingly desperate.
The International Monetary Fund has expressed deep concern about the country’s economic situation. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said small-scale remittances have been made, but the global lender’s engagement with Afghanistan remains on hold.
Filipe Ribeiro, Afghan representative for MÃ©decins Sans FrontiÃ¨res (MSF), told Reuters last month that “one of the big risks to the health system here is essentially collapsing due to lack of support.”
Aid agencies that are still in operation have seen a significant increase in demand as other facilities cannot fully function.
The closure of Afghan banks has prevented almost all aid agencies from accessing funds, leaving vendors and staff without pay. Medical supplies also need to be restocked earlier than expected.
Last week, the UN raised more than $ 1.2 billion in emergency pledges for Afghanistan, exceeding the $ 606 million it was seeking to cover costs until the end of the year.
Griffiths had urged donors to turn pledges into cash contributions as quickly as possible, saying “the funding will be a lifeline for Afghans” who lack food, health care and protection.
The situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover was one of the talking points at a ministerial meeting in Geneva on Monday, with UN chief Antonio Guterres stressing the need to defend human rights, especially of women and girls.