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US freeze on Afghan assets weakened public health system: MSF

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Kabul: Doctors without borders (MSF) have said in a report today that Afghanistan people still struggle with access to healthcare due to increased widespread poverty, and a further weakened public health system.

This organization has recommended that the policy makers of the countries and aid agencies to act urgently in the field of revitalizing health services in villages so that people’s access to these services is easier.

Felib Ribeiro, the representative of Doctors without Borders in Afghanistan, said that one of the main problems is the lack of well-equipped health institutions in the villages. He further said that because of this, villagers are forced to travel long distances to access health services, while many people cannot afford to travel, but they have to.

According to Doctors Without Borders, for decades, security-violence, cost of the journey and lack of quality healthcare near home have been consistent obstacles to accessing healthcare, but in 2022, the country has been clearly suffering from the rippling effects of a crumbling economy, a financial crisis (liquidity and dysfunctional banking system) and cuts in foreign funding.

The report said that sanctions imposed by the international community have crippled the economy, while $7 billion of the Afghan Central Bank’s assets remain frozen abroad and are inaccessible to people in need.

According to the report, the health situation is worse for women, and the recent bans in Afghanistan through the current government about working for non-governmental organizations and from university-level education will likely only worsen women’s access to health care. 

This organization further states that due to decades of armed conflict, natural disasters, and pandemic the need for humanitarian aid has increased in the country.

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