Samaritan's Purse, Others Help with Suffering in Afghanistan

In a war-ravaged country immobilized by winter, international relief organization Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is working with regional and tribal leaders to open a 20-bed hospital in the ancient Afghan city of Kholm -where people have little access to medical care.

Along with hospital supplies, equipment, and medical staff, North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse is airlifting supplies to build temporary shelters for families left homeless by the recent fighting. Meanwhile, the organization continues to provide blankets, clothing, food, and essential items to families in refugee camps in northern and western Afghanistan.

Drought, exposure, fighting, and land mines have multiplied the burden on local doctors, and Kholm, one of the largest cities in northern Afghanistan, has been wracked by years of ethnic strife. Currently, Kholm has only three doctors, with no hospital, and the local clinic has no running water or electricity.

Dozens of doctors and nurses have volunteered to travel to Afghanistan through Samaritan's Purse. Some of them will work alongside the Afghan doctors in the local clinic until the hospital opens. Samaritan's Purse has already sent two shipments of medicine and supplies designed to meet the basic needs of 20,000 people for the next three months, with additional materials scheduled to arrive later.

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