(Xinhua) — With economic hardships having severely affected living conditions in Afghanistan, continued humanitarian support coupled with investment in long-term solutions are urgently needed for the country, the United Nations (UN) officials and partners said on Tuesday.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that about 28 million Afghans struggle to meet basic needs.
“Economic hardships and continuous shocks have greatly diminished buying power, making many reliant on humanitarian assistance,” the press release said.
William Spindler, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a press briefing here Tuesday that there were important challenges with aid delivery in Afghanistan.
He said that UN and non-governmental organizations’ operations had been affected by restrictions, including bans on female national staff.
He noted that while challenges persisted, UNHCR and its partners remained committed to staying the course in Afghanistan and finding ways to address challenges and continue to serve those in need, especially women and girls.
Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), told Tuesday’s press briefing that WHO was very concerned by the humanitarian health emergency in Afghanistan.
She told reporters that there were 9.5 million people with little or no access to even basic health services, and 20 percent of the country’s population were suffering from mental health problems, 4 million from drug addiction and associated disorders, and 875,000 children were suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Harris said WHO had an extensive presence in Afghanistan and worked closely with the health system in the country.