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Following a deadly earthquake in Afghanistan, India has sent 27 tons of emergency relief assistance in two flights of Indian Air Force (IAF) in the early hours of Friday to Afghanistan.

Earlier this week neighbouring Afghanistan was jolted with a 6.1 magnitude earthquake which left more than 1,000 dead with scores injured.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the relief assistance sent to Afghanistan contains essential items which will be handed over to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) in Kabul. India has sent family ridge tents, blankets, sleeping bags, mats etc.

An official statement issued by MEA, states that Indian remains firmly committed to provide relief assistance for the people of Afghanistan, adding “with whom we share centuries old ties.”

India and Taliban

Since the fall of Afghanistan to Taliban 2.0, New Delhi does not recognize that regime. However, recently a team was in Kabul and the focus was to oversee the humanitarian assistance India has sent to that country and also to take a look at the infrastructure programmes India has undertaken there. This team was there to assess the security situation in the country under the Taliban and had meetings with senior members of that regime.

It has been reported earlier that India has built the Afghan Parliament, the India-Afghanistan friendship dam in western Herat Province and there are another 116 High Impact Community Development Projects which India has undertaken in 31 provinces of the country.

Humanitarian Assistance

Since last August, India has sent 17,000 MT of Wheat out of its total commitment of 50,000 MT.

New Delhi has dispatched 500,000 doses of Covaxin – COVID Vaccine made in India.

Also, around 13 tons of essential lifesaving medicines and winter clothing. And around 60 million doses of polio vaccine.

Another team reaches Kabul

In continuation of India’s engagement with Afghanistan, a technical team has reached Kabul and it will be deployed in the Indian Embassy. This technical team will closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders to ensure the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance.

According to the MEA statement “Our longstanding links with Afghan society and our development partnership including humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan, will continue to guide our approach going forward.”

Following the earthquake, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “India stands by the people of Afghanistan in their difficult times”.



Author: Howard Caldwell