A friend in need: India gifts 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghan people

Putting the Afghan people first, India has decided to gift 50,000 MT of wheat to the neighbouring country suffering a severe food crisis.

In a ceremony held at Amritsar on February 22, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, along with Afghan Ambassador Farid Mamundzay and World Food Program Country Director Bishaw Parajuli, flagged off the first convoy of 50 trucks carrying 2500 MT of wheat assistance from India to Afghanistan via Pakistan at the Attari  border.

The wheat assistance will be delivered in multiple consignments and will be handed over to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, said India’s external affairs ministry in a statement.  India remains committed to its special relationship with the people of Afghanistan, said the ministry.

The Indian government signed an agreement with the WFP for the distribution of 50,000 MT of wheat within Afghanistan, he said.

India has already supplied 500,000 doses of COVAXIN, 13 tons of essential lifesaving medicines and 500 units of winter clothing. These consignments were handed over to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kabul.

India has not recognised the Taliban government in Afghanistan, and has made such a recognition contingent on the Taliban severing all links with terrorists and a pledge to respect women’s rights.

However, New Delhi, one of the largest donors to Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover in August 2021, has kept the door open for humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.