Kam Air plane (representative image). Photograph:( AFP )
India has committed to provide 50,000 MT of wheat, essential lifesaving medicines and COVID-19 vaccines to the Afghan people as humanitarian assistance
India will be sending aid, largely medicines, to Afghanistan on Saturday morning. The aid will be sent via the Kam air flight that arrived on Friday and brought 10 Indians and 94 Afghans including members of the Afghan Hindu-Sikh minority community.
The special Kam air flight was arranged by India under its Operation Devi Shakti that was launched in August to evacuate people from the country. Friday's evacuation included 9 children including 3 infants. The aid will be the first such supplies to the country since the Taliban takeover in August.
Remember, India has committed to provide 50,000 MT of wheat, essential lifesaving medicines and COVID-19 vaccines to the Afghan people as humanitarian assistance.
Since the assistance will be transferred via Pakistani territory, the modalities are still being discussed between New Delhi and Islamabad. Pakistan has in principle announced that it will allow Indian support to go Afghanistan over its territory.
The humanitarian situation in the country has deteriorated especially with the onset of winters
A total of 565 stranded people have been evacuated under "Operation Devi Shakti" before Friday's operation. 74 members of minority communities from Afghanistan, primarily Afghan Sikhs, were evacuated on board the special Indian Air Force/Air India flights arranged by the Government of India under Operation Devi Shakti.
In the aftermath of the August Taliban takeover, the ministry of external affairs had set up a 24 x 7 Special Afghanistan Cell to facilitate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan. In the month of August alone, the Special Afghanistan Cell responded to 3,436 telephone calls, 9,581 Whatsapp messages and 4,569 emails.
India’s development partnership with Afghanistan includes more than five hundred projects spread across each of the 34 provinces of the country in critical areas of power, water supply, road connectivity, healthcare, education, agriculture and capacity building. In all New Delhi has invested more than USD 3 billion in the country in last 2 decades.