First PIA flight carrying WHO medical essentials lands in Afghanistan
MAZAR-I-SHARIF: As part of the humanitarian air bridge, the first cargo flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying medical supplies of World Health Organization (WHO) lands in Afghanistan ‘s Mazar-i-Sharif.
The PK-234 (Boeing 777 AP-BHV), flew from Dubai and landed at the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport – the first international flight to Afghanistan’s fourth largest city after the took over of the Taliban.
As PIA is providing air transport for the operation, the WHO will be arranging logistics on the ground.
Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmed Khan confirmed that the PIA cargo flight took essential supplies of WHO to Mazar-i-Sharif in line with the Pakistan’s role of making a ‘humanitarian air bridge’ in coordination with international agencies.
“First PIA Cargo flight with WHO medical supplies from Islamabad to Mazar Sharif today,” the envoy tweet on Monday.
He thanked PIA for its efforts in ensuring the supplies to Afghanistan.
“A humanitarian air bridge for essential supplies to Afghanistan in coordination with international agencies. Thanx PIA,” he wrote.
In view of the medical supplies running out within days in Afghanistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) had announced last week to establish an air bridge into the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif with the help of Pakistani authorities. So, now the issue seems to have been resolved as PIA plane lands in Afghanistan.
Trauma kits and emergency supplies for hospitals, as well as medicines for treating chronic malnutrition in children are among priority items for Afghanistan, where 18 million people depend on aid, the WHO’s regional emergency director said.
“What remains certain is that humanitarian needs are enormous and growing,” Rick Brennan told a U.N. briefing, as reported by Reuters.
“Right now because of security concerns and several other operational considerations, Kabul airport is not going to be an option for the next week at least,” he said, speaking from Cairo.
Insurance rates for flying into Afghanistan had “skyrocketed at prices we have never seen before” in the 12 hours since the blast, Brennan said.