pakistan afghan border refugees
Afghan nationals arrive into Pakistan after crossing the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on August 21, 2021, following the Taliban's stunning takeover of Afghanistan. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan has announced it is sending a medical team along with emergency medical supplies to neighbouring Afghanistan where the healthcare system has literally collapsed.

The medical team from Pakistan will be visiting Afghanistan for the provision of medical equipment as well as its installation and maintenance at the three Pakistan-funded hospitals in Jalalabad, Logar and Kabul to boost the healthcare system.

Pakistan has announced delivery of medicines worth Rs500 million to cover the urgent needs of Afghan people who are facing medical emergency and starvation as winter arrives.

Pakistan’s private pharmaceutical sector has also announced additional delivery of medical supplies worth Rs40 million for Afghanistan as a humanitarian gesture.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan approved Rs5 billion ($28 million) humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan comprising food commodities, including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters and other supplies.

Free vaccination for Afghans

Pakistan is also offering free COVID-19 vaccination for all Afghans entering Pakistan from land borders since November 13. Islamabad has also eased medical visas for Afghans seeking urgent medical treatment.

On Friday, Pakistan allowed the use of Afghan trucks to transport Indian humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. “It has been decided to allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah border to Torkham,” Pakistan Foreign Office said.

The decision was conveyed to the Charge d’Affaires of India and the Indian government has been asked to swiftly proceed towards the required steps for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Islamabad earlier allowed New Delhi to transport 50,000 MT of wheat to Kabul via its land route on humanitarian grounds.