Trucks carrying wheat and medical supplies lined the Attari-Wagah land border on Tuesday as India prepares its first shipment of humanitarian aid to send to Afghanistan. India will send 50,000 metric tons of wheat and essential medical goods to Afghanistan via Pakistan to help the country tackle the humanitarian crisis it collapsed into following the Taliban takeover of the war-torn nation.
Later in the day, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla reported the shipment in the presence of Afghan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay. “We are extending our humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, in the form of 50,000 tonnes of wheat. Today we are launching our first load of 2,500 tons in 50 Afghan trucks. It will be delivered to the World Food Program for dissemination,” Shringla said.
“This consignment will go from Attari ICP, Jalalabad, via Pakistan; many such shipments will be sent to deliver humanitarian aid to Afghanistan over the next 2-3 months,” he added.
India sent life-saving drugs to Afghanistan earlier in the past months and sent the fifth such consignment last Saturday. Afghanistan’s health care and economy are under severe strain due to sanctions imposed on the country’s Taliban regime which took control after the US withdrew from Afghanistan after two decades of its presence.
More than four and a half months of waiting, the first convoy of 50 trucks will begin today the delivery of 50,000 metric tons of wheat from 🇮🇳 to 🇦🇫. I thank the Indian government for the generosity displayed at a time when more than 20 million Afghans are facing crisis or at worst 1/2 pic.twitter.com/qjSynbG20q— Farid Mamundzay (@FMamundzay) February 22, 2022
The Afghan envoy to India of the previous democratically elected regime Farid Mamundzay expressed his gratitude following the gesture of the Indian government. “I thank the Government of India for the generosity displayed at a time when over 20 million Afghans are facing crisis or the worst levels of food insecurity in over 3 decades. I also thank the WFP and our mission in India for their contribution to making this “noble cause” possible in difficult circumstances. I hope there will be no more obstacles to humanitarian aid today, tomorrow and forever,” Mamundzay said in a tweet.
The Afghan truckers who will take the cargo home have also expressed their gratitude to the Indian government. Speaking to the ANI news agency, one of the truckers said a huge economic crisis has crippled Afghans left at home. “There is a crying need for wheat in Afghanistan. People there have no money and are poor. We thank India for their help,” the truck driver said. Another trucker said he felt relieved and happy that India is sending these consignments to help its neighbours.
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