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Afghanistan: ERC Griffiths releases $45M from UN CERF for life-saving support

22 Sep 2021

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Displaced people in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, December 2020. © OCHA/Fariba Housaini

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths today released US$45 million in life-saving support from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to help prevent Afghanistan’s health-care system from collapse.

Medicines, medical supplies and fuel are running out in Afghanistan. Cold chains are compromised. Essential health-care workers are not being paid.

“Allowing Afghanistan’s health-care delivery system to fall apart would be disastrous. People across the country would be denied access to primary health care such as emergency caesarean sections and trauma care,” Mr. Griffiths said.

The funding will go to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF and – working through national and international non-governmental organizations – will keep health-care facilities, including hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, operating until the end of the year.

The UN is determined to stand by the people of Afghanistan in their hour of need.

Meanwhile, humanitarian operations continue across Afghanistan.  

The UN Humanitarian Air Service is operating flights, almost daily, to different provinces, including Kabul. UN cross-country road movements have been reestablished for the first time in several years. 

Ahead of the September-October winter wheat planting season, the Food and Agriculture Organization is procuring more than 8,500 metric tons of certified wheat seeds to help more than 170,000 vulnerable families.

The International Organization for Migration is supporting the construction of causeways and other disaster risk mitigation infrastructure in Nangarhar Province.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is improving access to basic services for communities affected by conflict and displacement, including road construction in Khost Province to boost access to services, markets and employment.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is supporting a hospital in Hirat Province with emergency reproductive health supplies covering the treatment of about 1,500 medical and surgical cases.

On 13 September, donors pledged more than US$1.2 billion for humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan. To date, more than $121 million (20 per cent of the $606 million required through the end of the year) has been received.

The UN urges donors to disburse pledges so we can keep getting life-saving assistance, including food, medicines, health care and protection to people in need.