Basic services in Afghanistan collapsing, says UN aid agency

Shoppers and vendors at a market in Kabul, on Aug 29, 2021.
Shoppers and vendors at a market in Kabul, on Aug 29, 2021.PHOTO: NYTIMES

GENEVA (REUTERS) - Afghanistan is facing the collapse of basic services, and food and other aid is about to run out, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said on Tuesday (Sept 7).

Ocha spokesman Jens Laerke told a UN briefing in Geneva that millions of Afghans were in need of food aid and health assistance, urging donors to give more ahead of an international aid conference for Afghanistan on Sept 13.

The agency has released a flash appeal for around US$600 million (S$805 million) to meet humanitarian needs for 11 million people for the remainder of the year amid warnings of drought and starvation.

"Basic services in Afghanistan are collapsing and food and other life-saving aid is about to run out," he said. "We urge international donors to support this appeal fast and generously."

More than half a million people have been displaced internally in Afghanistan this year as the Taliban has swept across the country, culminating in its seizure of the capital Kabul on Aug 15.