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ICRC to support salaries for 10K health workers in crises-hit Afghanistan


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will support salaries for nearly 10,000 staff working in hospitals across Afghanistan amidst worsening economic and in the country.

The global humanitarian organization made the announcement, pledging support for six months, including salaries, running costs and medical supplies.

“The ICRC is proud to support salaries for around 10,000 staff working across 23 regional and provincial hospitals in Afghanistan,” it said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“Communities must have access to health care and this is one way that we can help ensure vital health infrastructure can continue to operate,” the statement added.

People in war-ravaged Afghanistan have been tormented by grinding poverty and hunger for decades, but since the botched exit of the -led international forces and the ’s sweeping takeover in August, the country has been teetering on the brink of a major humanitarian catastrophe.

The freezing of assets and blocking of worth billions of dollars by the US and its European allies have plunged the South Asian country into an unimaginable crisis.

Afghanistan’s , beset by years of foreign-imposed war, has been the worst affected, with hospitals running out of drugs and health workers going unpaid.

 

The ICRC is proud to support salaries for around 10,000 staff working across 23 regional and provincial hospitals in #Afghanistan. Communities must have access to health care and this is one way that we can help ensure vital health infrastructure can continue to operate. pic.twitter.com/EvGR5VPpw3

— ICRC Afghanistan (@ICRC_af) December 20, 2021

 

With nearly the entire population teetering on the brink of grinding poverty, global humanitarian watchdogs are sounding the alarm over the likelihood of mass starvation across Afghanistan.

A top official of the UN World Food (UNFP) recently termed it the “worst humanitarian crisis on earth” while a senior executive of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) described it as the worst humanitarian disaster he has “ever seen”.

On Monday, more than 40 US Democrats warned about “imminent mass starvation” in Afghanistan, calling on US to open up access to the impoverished country’s economic reserves.

Led by progressive Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Sara Jacobs and Jesús Garcia, 46 lawmakers made the comments in a sent to the Democratic president.

Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August, after stunning advances across the country, forcing the US-led coalition forces to expedite their withdrawal after a protracted, futile war lasting 20 years.

The group announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7, but efforts to stabilize the situation have been impeded by international , as banks are running out of cash.

The new rulers have warned Western diplomats that insistence on sanctions as a means to exert pressure on them could undermine security and trigger a fresh wave of economic refugees.

Meanwhile, neighboring countries of Afghanistan have stepped forward to offer help to the crisis-stricken country.

On Sunday, Iran’s deputy envoy to Afghanistan, Seyyed Hassan Mortazavi, assured Afghanistan’s acting second deputy premier, Abdul Salam Hanafi that Iran will continue to provide aid to the Afghan people.

Iran, which shares a 900-kilometer border with Afghanistan, has welcomed Afghan refugees and sent many food trucks to the country in recent months.

It has been hosting millions of documented and undocumented Afghans for the past four decades, which constitutes one of the largest refugee populations in the world.

In early December, the ICRC and the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) announced joint measures to vaccinate Afghan migrants living in Iran as the country steps up efforts to curb the COVID-19 .

The two humanitarian bodies said they have launched a plan to vaccinate up to 125,000 Afghan migrants against COVID-19 in eastern provinces of Iran as part of a partnership between them.

Iran is the worst-hit country in the region from the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, over 6,173,000 people have tested positive for the disease in the country, with 131,124 deaths reported till date.





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