As part of the government’s continuous humanitarian support, India sent the fourth batch of medical assistance to Afghanistan on Saturday, consisting of three tons of important life-saving medications. The shipment was delivered to Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Hospital.
“India stands committed to continuing our special relationship with the people of Afghanistan and providing humanitarian assistance,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a statement.
India has already delivered three shipments of medical aid to Afghanistan, including five lakh doses of Covid vaccinations and life-saving medications. The WHO and the India Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Kabul received it.
“We would be supplying more batches of humanitarian assistance consisting of medicines and foodgrains for the people of Afghanistan in the coming weeks,” the MEA added.
After months of negotiations, New Delhi and Islamabad have finally agreed on the mechanisms for shipping wheat to Afghanistan as part of India’s humanitarian help to the troubled country over Pakistani land. Officials stated the supply will begin in early February.
According to Pakistani media sources, Pakistan first requested that humanitarian aid be sent to Kabul in Pakistani trucks under the UN banner.
India, on the other hand, submitted a counter-proposal, requesting that the food grains be transported to Afghanistan in either Indian or Afghan vehicles. The two parties subsequently agreed that wheat would be transported by Afghan trucks, and Pakistan was given a list of Afghan contractors.
On Friday, Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar Ahmad informed reporters that all preparations had been made and that Pakistan was awaiting the arrival of the first consignment.
On October 7 of last year, India filed a proposal to Pakistan, requesting permission to transport 50,000 tonnes of wheat and life-saving medications to Afghans via Pakistani land, and received a response from Islamabad on November 24.
When asked about humanitarian aid to Afghanistan at an online media conference in New Delhi on Friday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the government is committed to providing foodgrains, Covid vaccines, and life-saving pharmaceuticals to the Afghan people.
“In the last few weeks, we’ve provided 3.6 tonnes of medical assistance and 5,00,000 doses of Covid vaccines,” he stated.
He indicated that the process of obtaining wheat and arranging for its delivery is presently underway, but that it would take some time.
India supplied two tonnes of life-saving medications to Afghanistan on January 7. Following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in mid-August, India recently sent five lakh doses of Covid vaccination and 1.6 tonnes of medical aid to Afghanistan through the World Health Organization (WHO).
India donated five lakh doses of Covaxin to Afghanistan as a “gift for the people of Afghanistan” on January 1, the first time since Kabul surrendered to the Taliban. They were airlifted from India to Afghanistan.