GENEVA: A top World Health Organization official says the agency only has “a few days left of supplies” for Afghanistan and wants help to ferry in 10 or 12 planeloads of equipment and medicine for its beleaguered people.

Dr. Rick Brennan, who heads WHO’s eastern Mediterranean region that includes Afghanistan, said from Cairo that the U.N. health agency is negotiating with the U.S. and other countries to help efforts to replenish strained stockpiles.

“We estimate we’ve only got a few days left of supplies,” Brennan said, alluding to a distribution center in Dubai that has what’s needed.

“We have 500 metric tons ready to go, but we haven’t got any way of getting them into the country right now.”

Brennan said U. S. and other authorities have encouraged WHO and partners to look to other Afghan airports other than Kabul’s, which is facing a crush of thousands of people who are trying to get out of Afghanistan after a Taliban takeover.

He said those authorities “have suggested that it’ll be too difficult a logistics exercise and security exercise to bring supplies into Kabul,” where teams would be required to unload planes and allow in trucks to carry out the supplies – which could complicate the evacuations.

Needed supplies include emergency kits and essential medicines for treatment of chronic diseases, like diabetes, WHO said.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that we might need to get something done in the coming days,” Brennan said, before adding: “We need a consistent humanitarian airbridge into the country ASAP.”