Before last month, the W.H.O. said, about 2.2 million people, or about 6 percent of Afghanistan’s population, had been vaccinated against Covid-19. But in recent weeks, the organization said, vaccination rates have slowed markedly, and some 1.8 million vaccine doses in the country remain unused.
The country’s acting health minister and last remaining holdover from the pre-Taliban Cabinet, Dr. Wahid Majrooh, stepped down on Tuesday.
Martin Griffiths, the U.N.’s under secretary for emergency relief, said on Wednesday that he was releasing $45 million to help prevent Afghanistan’s health care system from collapsing.
“Medicines, medical supplies and fuel are running out in Afghanistan,” Mr. Griffiths said in a statement. “Cold chains are compromised. Essential health care workers are not being paid.”
On top of the threat of a public health crisis, new figures released by the World Food Program suggest that 95 percent of Afghans lack secure access to adequate food, a situation that could worsen in the winter, when many remote communities are likely to be cut off from outside support for several months.