WHO to begin Covid vax drive in Afghanistan from June

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WHO figures have revealed that as of May 22, a total of 6,118,557 vaccine doses against the virus have been administered in Afghanistan…reports Asian Lite News

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it will begin its Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Afghanistan from June.

According to the global health body, the campaign will cover 34 provinces and target more than 5 million people aged 18 years and above, TOLO News reported.

WHO figures have revealed that as of May 22, a total of 6,118,557 vaccine doses against the virus have been administered in Afghanistan.

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, the war-torn nation has reported a total of 179,835 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 7,699 deaths.

Humanitarian assistance

Afghanistan is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the Taliban seized power in August last year as poverty and unemployment are at an all-time high and families in Kabul are forced to move to the streets.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that more than half of Afghanistan’s population is dependent on life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection under the Taliban regime, TOLOnews reported.

“Afghanistan’s people cannot be left behind. We provide direct aid to the most vulnerable. We build schools, health centres, water projects and roads to provide conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and displaced people when they feel ready,” UNHCR Canberra stated in a tweet.

One in two people in Afghanistan does not know where their next meal is coming from, the organization further added.

However, the Ministry of Economy contradicted the UNHCR and said the numbers of the ministry show that the poverty level in the country is decreasing.

“Keeping food and fuel prices constant, keeping exchange rates constant, increasing imports and exports, attracting domestic and foreign investment, and creating domestic and foreign projects are among the programs of the Ministry of Economy to reduce poverty in the country,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, Deputy Minister of Economy, according to TOLOnews.

Meanwhile, a number of residents of the war-ravaged nation stressed that the increase in poverty and lack of employment has doubled their challenges.

Earlier, the former US diplomat to Afghanistan, Ross Wilson, has also expressed concerns about the growing adversities in Afghanistan as the world turned a blind eye to the nation’s situation amidst the rising Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Afghanistan’s per capita income has dropped from USD 500 a year to USD 350 and food aid from UN agencies has not alleviated poverty in the country, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

As per a local survey, the rate of poverty in the country has exceeded 95 per cent since the fall of the former government while 56 per cent are seeking to leave the country amid a drop in daily income.

Moreover, millions of Afghans are on the brink of starvation as the country reels from a humanitarian crisis. (IANS/ANI)

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