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Brahimi warns about desperate public health situation in Afghanistan

Brahimi warns about desperate public health situation in Afghanistan

Lakhdar Brahimi
Recognizing that the public health situation in Afghanistan was in a desperate state, the United Nations chief envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, today said he hoped the international community would pay attention to this issue.

Mr. Brahimi's comments came during a meeting in Kabul with the Afghan Minister of Public Health, Dr. Sohaila Siddiq, who shared with him the many problems facing the health sector in Afghanistan. Later this afternoon, Mr. Brahimi also held meetings with Justice Minister Abdurrahim Karimi and Planning Minister Haji Muhammad Mohaqqeq.

In other news, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) announced that its international staff was returning today to Kabul. The agency's Representative for Afghanistan, Dr. Said Salah Youssouf, was due to travel to his permanent office in the capital.

WHO said that the relocation was important for close cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health, providing technical guidance, leadership and training. WHO programmes managers will also work in close collaboration with their counterparts in the Afghan ministry at the central and regional levels. The agency has more than 200 international and local staff in Afghanistan working at eight sub-offices.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) also indicated that their offices in Bamiyan would be reopened.