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Aid groups warn of ‘impending humanitarian crisis’ in Afghanistan

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(Al Jazeera) – Call for funding as thousands of health centres and NGOs face closure affecting millions of Afghans.

International aid agencies have raised the alarm about an “impending humanitarian crisis” in Afghanistan, with medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) saying the country’s vulnerable healthcare system was facing a “potential collapse”.

On Monday, the United Nations appealed for almost $200m in extra funding for life-saving aid in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover last month resulted in the exodus of aid workers and subsequent funding cut.

“Basic services in Afghanistan are collapsing and food and other life-saving aid is about to run out,” said OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke on Monday.

Martine Flokstra from the MSF said an already dire situation in Afghanistan’s hospitals has become worse since the Taliban’s march on Kabul on August 15 triggered a collapse of the West-backed government.

She said medics have not received salaries in months and health centres are running out of medicines amid an increase in the number of patients coming to facilities. “So potential collapse of the healthcare system is one of our major concerns,” she told Al Jazeera.

“Sirens are sounding,” Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Bellis, reporting from Kabul, said about SOS being sent out by aid agencies such as World Health Organization (WHO), MSF, Afghan Red Crescent and Red Cross.

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