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Civilian volunteers sort donations for evacuees from Afghanistan at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on August 22, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Geneva: The World Health Organization said on Monday that 500 tonnes of medical supplies including surgical equipment and childhood pneumonia treatments due to be delivered to Afghanistan this week are stuck because of Kabul airport restrictions.

"They were ready and planned to be delivered to Afghanistan to arrive this week. But now that the airport is closed to commercial flights, we can no longer get them in," said spokesperson Inas Hamam in an emailed statement to Reuters.

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She said the WHO was calling for empty planes to divert to its storage hub in Dubai to collect the supplies on their way to pick up evacuees from the country.