Red Cross official 'livid' over holdups for Afghan aid

A senior Red Cross official expresses his frustration over the holdups of aid to Afghanistan pushing the healthcare system to the brink, Reuters reported.

International Committee of the Red Cross operational director Dominik Stillhart said Monday the organization began paying salaries and providing medical supplies to 18 medical facilities in the country to prevent them from collapsing. 

Stillhart told reporters that salaries at government-run hospitals have been unpaid for months, leading some nurses to quit, and requiring others to walk to work for two hours as they can't afford transportation, according to Reuters. 


"Every single person I spoke to, be it hospital staff, patients, people in the street — they are seriously worried about how to make ends meet in the coming months," Stillhart said, via Reuters. 

"I am livid," he added.

Stillhart added that cases of severe malnutrition, pneumonia and dehydration have doubled since August and September, causing up to three children to be squeezed into a single bed. 

Humanitarian workers have complained that the United Nations and the Taliban share responsibility for causing confusion that is preventing willing donors from increasing the aid flow, Reuters reported. 

The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August, after the U.S. withdrew its military and the civilian government quickly retreated from Kabul. Many western countries have imposed sanctions on the Taliban, contributing to the mounting economic and social crisis. 

Stillhart has urged donors to find "creative solutions,” saying the creation of a trust fund could help money flow through despite those hurdles, Reuters noted.