Afghanistan continues to face a devastating humanitarian crisis, marked by instability, drought, and natural disasters. Every day, millions of Afghans struggle to access healthcare and food, leaving them vulnerable to malnutrition and disease outbreaks. The rollback of women’s rights further exacerbates the situation, limiting their access to healthcare, education, and freedom of movement.
Despite these ongoing challenges, Afghan health professionals, including thousands of female workers, defy the odds to provide critical healthcare services. With support from humanitarian agencies and donor partners, doctors, nurses, midwives, community health workers, and vaccinators work tirelessly to deliver life-saving care to millions of Afghans.
UNICEF and its partners play a crucial role in supporting Afghanistan’s healthcare professionals. They cover the operating costs of over 2,400 healthcare facilities, provide medical supplies, and pay the salaries of approximately 27,000 healthcare professionals, nearly 10,000 of whom are women. In the first half of this year alone, their efforts have ensured that nearly 20 million Afghans received essential health and nutrition services.
However, the healthcare needs in Afghanistan continue to rise, as highlighted by a recent alert from the World Health Organization. While humanitarian organizations are essential, they cannot replace a well-functioning public health system. The international community must prioritize investing in healthcare services in Afghanistan to safeguard the progress made over the years.
Funding from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, Global Financing Facility, and various donors has helped sustain the health system in the past, but it is not a long-term solution. To ensure the health and well-being of Afghan children, a comprehensive healthcare system that meets their needs is urgently required.