Urge UN to increase aid to Afghanistan during the Covid-19 pandemic

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So far, almost 29,000 coronavirus cases and 581 deaths have been recorded in Afghanistan, according to Johns Hopkins University.

But while the numbers appear low, the country has limited access to testing and the health system has suffered under decades of conflict.

In addition to the pressure the conflict has placed on civilians during the pandemic, a report published by Save The Children in May found that seven million Afghan children were at risk of hunger as a result of a rise in food prices due to Covid-19.

The UN has condemned continued attacks against Afghan health workers and facilities amid the spread of Covid-19. However, simply condemning these acts is not enough. We must urge the UN to double-down and increase aid to Afghanistan during this pandemic.

In a statement, the UN envoy to Afghanistan said both Afghan forces and the Taliban were responsible for "deliberate acts of violence that undermined healthcare operations". Her comments follow the release of a report into ongoing violence in Afghanistan during the pandemic.

The violence includes an attack on a maternity unit which left 24 dead.

"The range and scale of deliberate attacks on healthcare in Afghanistan at a time when the country was confronted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is of grave concern," the report, which was released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Sunday, said.

"When an urgent humanitarian response was required to protect the lives of all individuals in Afghanistan, both sides were responsible for both targeted and accidental damage to health care facilities."