Monday, A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight carrying medical essentials from the World Health Organization (WHO) landed in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan’s fourth largest city.
The PK-234 flew from Dubai and landed at the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport and was the first internatinal flight since Taliban’s takeover.
Following a long tradition of assisting with global humanitarian efforts, a spl #PIA B 777 Cargo Flt operated to Mazar-i-Sharif today to deliver essential medicines & supplies from @WHO. The first ever humanitarian AID flight to land in #Afghanistan to assist Afghan brethren pic.twitter.com/dJMAMeD0Qy— PIA (@Official_PIA) August 30, 2021
This is an effort on Pakistan’s behalf to establish a “humantarian air bridge” in corodination with the international agencies claimed Mansoor Ahmed Khan, pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan.
“First PIA Cargo flight with WHO medical supplies from Islamabad to Mazar Sharif today,” the envoy tweeted and 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.
First PIA Cargo flight with WHO medical supplies from Islamabad to Mazar Sharif today. A humanitarian air bridge for essential supplies to Afghanistan in coordination with international agencies. Thanx PIA. @SMQureshiPTI @ForeignOfficePk @fawadchaudhry @PakinAfg @Official_PIA— Mansoor Ahmad Khan (@ambmansoorkhan) August 30, 2021
In view of the medical supplies running out within days in Afghanistan, WHO had proposed the establishment of an air bridge and had asked pakistan’s help in this regard.
Almost 18 million people in Afghanistan depend on WHOS’s aid, Trauma kits, emergency supplies and medicines for treating malnutrition are among the priority items.
In a UN breifing Rick Brennan commented that the only obvious thing was that the humantarian needs of Afghanistan were increasing. And the aid cannot be directly transported to Kabul International airport due to security concerns.
“One of the problems we have in Afghanistan right now is that there is no civil aviation authority functioning, but we are working with Pakistan particularly in the context of the Mazar-i-Sharif airport. Because they can work with contacts on the ground so that all the necessary steps to land an aircraft, to land a cargo aircraft, can be put in place,” Brennan had said.
The official added that the insurance rate for Afghanistan had sky rocketed in the past 12 hours due to the blasts.
“So we are trying to jump through that hoop at the moment and once we have addressed that we will hopefully be airborne in the next 48 to 72 hours.”