Photo: UNICEF Afghanistan

UNICEF provides health and nutrition services to 19 million people in Afghanistan

The UN’s children charity, UNICEF, has said that it has provided “life-saving” health and nutrition services to 19 million people in Afghanistan this year.

In a tweet on Sunday, the UNICEF said that in partnership with the World Bank South Asia and Asian Development Bank, they have retained 27,000 health workers and kept thousands of health facilities functional, preventing the collapse of Afghanistan’s health system.

Fouzia Shafique, UNICEF’s Health Lead in Afghanistan, explained that the organization’s approach involves supporting health workers, particularly women, and ensuring the continuity of supply chains, health centers, and hospitals.

Earlier this year, UNICEF announced that it had supported 675 health facilities across nine provinces in Afghanistan in the first three months of 2023. This came amid a crumbling healthcare system in the country, which suffered a severe blow when the Taliban assumed control in August 2021. Thousands of health professionals and workers fled to safer countries, and the lack of funding left many healthcare centers dysfunctional.

UNICEF’s work in Afghanistan is part of a larger effort by the United Nations to provide humanitarian assistance to the country.

The UN estimates that 24.4 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian assistance in 2023, including 10.7 million children.