In the last few weeks, thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) streamed into Kabul from different parts of the country, especially from the north and north-eastern provinces as the conflict escalated across the region. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, around 17,600 IDPs were verified as needing humanitarian assistance. Most of the displaced received aid in the form of food, cash, healthcare, household items, water, as well as sanitation services.
Joining hands with the aid community, UNDP through its health project has expanded on the work of established Mobile Healthcare Teams to provide home-based healthcare support to the IDPs. Its 20 teams are providing COVID-19 screening, risk communication, treatment, and referral of critical patients to several temporary camps in Kabul city. In addition to providing COVID-19 services, the teams are assigned to provide primary and emergency healthcare services to internally displaced people, especially women and children.
Despite the rapid changes and uncertainty after 15 August 2021, the teams kept working and continued to provide critically needed health services to the IDPs across the city. The 20 UNDP teams coordinate their work with the Ministry of Public Health and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The mobile teams have examined and provided primary healthcare services to more than 9,000 individuals since the beginning of August when thousands of people fleeing the violence in the north of the country flooded the streets of Kabul. The IDPs were provided with essential medicines and sanitization kits, and hundreds of critical cases were referred to hospitals. More than 60% of IDPs who received essential healthcare services were women and children. The teams also provided specialized healthcare services to 629 pregnant women, in the IDP camps.
The mobile healthcare teams were established through a joint effort by UNDP, local NGOs and the Ministry of Public Health. UNDP provides human resources and transportation for the mobile teams, while medicines and supplies are provided by the Ministry of Public Health.
Like the rest of the UN system in Afghanistan, UNDP is committed to staying in the country and delivering critically needed services to the people of Afghanistan. The agency has been in country for over half a century building vital infrastructure and delivering essential services.