A plane carrying World Health Organization (WHO) health supplies and medicines landed in Afghanistan on Monday according to the WHO. This is the first shipment of medical supplies to land in the country since it came under Taliban control, the WHO statement said.
The supplies arrived on Monday at 12:25 p.m. local time and arrived at Mazar-i-Sharif airport. Supplies included trauma kits and emergency health kits. They are enough to cover the needs of more than 200,000 people as well as 3,500 surgical procedures, and can treat 6,500 trauma patients. They are set to be delivered immediately to 40 health facilities in 29 provinces across the country, the WHO statement read.
“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,” Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane, provided by the Pakistan government, was loaded in Dubai by the WHO logistics team and flew directly to Mazar-i-Sharif. It is the first of three flights planned with PIA to address the urgent shortages in medicine and medical supplies in Afghanistan.
“I would like to thank the Government of Pakistan and PIA for their efforts to support WHO and the people of Afghanistan. Humanitarian agencies such as WHO have faced enormous challenges in sending life-saving supplies to Afghanistan in recent weeks due to security and logistics constraints. The support of the Pakistani people has been timely and life-saving,” Al-Mandhari said.
Earlier Monday morning, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan tweeted, “First PIA Cargo flight with WHO medical supplies from Islamabad to Mazar Sharif today. A humanitarian air bridge for essential supplies to Afghanistan in coordination with international agencies. Thanx PIA.”