Officials of the Red Cross ‘suffer’ over detentions of Afghan aid

A senior Red Cross official expresses frustration that aid to Afghanistan has stopped, pushing the health care system to the brink, It reported Reuters.

Dominik Stillhart, International Operations Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said on Monday that the organization began paying salaries and providing medical supplies to 18 medical facilities in the country to prevent them from collapsing.

Stillhart told reporters that salaries at state-run hospitals have been unpaid for several months, leading to some nurses stopping and others demanding to go to work for two hours as they cannot afford transportation, according to Reuters.

“Every single person I talked to, be it hospital staff, patients, people on the street – they’re seriously worried about how they can make ends meet in the coming months,” Stillhart told Reuters.

“I’m mad,” he added.

Stillhart added that cases of severe malnutrition, pneumonia and dehydration have doubled since August and September, resulting in up to three children being pushed into a single bed.

Humanitarian workers have complained that the UN and the Taliban share the responsibility for creating confusion that prevents willing donors from increasing the flow of aid, Reuters reported.

The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August after the United States withdrew its military and the civilian government quickly withdrew from Kabul. Many Western countries have imposed sanctions on the Taliban, contributing to the growing economic and social crisis.

Stillhart has urged donors to find “creative solutions” and says the creation of a trust fund could help money through despite these obstacles, Reuters noted.

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