Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, announced that the first cargo flight of Pakistan International Airlines, carrying medical supplies from the World Health Organization landed in Mazar-i-Sharif airport in Afghanistan, the fourth largest city in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.
Ahmed said that the flight comes within the humanitarian air bridge for essential medical supplies to Afghanistan in coordination with international organizations, adding that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) provides air transportation for the operation, while the World Health Organization is arranging the logistics on the ground.
Rick Brennan, the Regional Director of Emergencies in the World Health Organization’s Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, said that medical aid includes trauma kits and emergency supplies for hospitals, as well as medicines to treat chronic malnutrition in children, where 18 million people depend on aid.
He added that there is coordination with the Pakistani authorities to work on the shipment of medical supplies to Afghanistan, explaining that one of the problems Afghanistan is facing now is the lack of a functioning civil aviation authority, which makes “Kabul Airport a difficult option for transporting medical aid during the next week at least due to security concerns and many other operational considerations.
Brennan noted that insurance rates for travel to Afghanistan “have gone up dramatically at prices we’ve never seen before” in the 12 hours since the terrorist bombing at Kabul airport last Thursday.
He said health facilities in Afghanistan are rapidly running out of medical supplies, adding, “The World Health Organization is currently unable to meet these needs.”