Even during the last crisis of 2021, MSF continued to care for patients, many who were injured during the clashes or, due to clashes, were unable to receive the medical assistance they needed.
Access to treatment was a major issue in Afghanistan well before the Taliban took power, but today the situation has worsened further, with a major economic crisis and the blocking of international aid. Most hospitals and medical facilities across the country are under severe pressure from understaffing and equipment shortages – some barely functioning or forced to close. People are unemployed and because of poverty they cannot afford private care.
In this context, the role of MSF has become even more crucial for the local population, considering that the country is experiencing a serious nutritional emergency and a measles epidemic, caused in part by the lack of vaccinations in recent years.
Afghanistan is facing a serious nutritional crisis: people have difficulty obtaining food due to the economic crisis and persistent drought, as well as due to strong internal migrations, which leave people without resources and without normal networks of family and community protection.
Food security has become an increasingly serious emergency and it is estimated that over 22 million Afghans are suffering from malnutrition today. In MSF feeding centres in Helmand and Herat, the number of malnourished children has long been much higher than the reception capacity and there are now more than 400 children hospitalized in serious conditions of malnutrition per month.
These conditions also contribute to increasing the risk of contracting measles, affecting malnourished children – whose immune systems are already severely compromised – many of whom die from complications due to the disease.
We have chosen to support MSF’s activities in Afghanistan to counter the serious health emergency that hit the country.