India has been continuously sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021. In this series, India has supplied the fourth batch of medical aid containing 3 tonnes of essential life-saving drugs to Afghanistan. This medical aid was handed over to Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul, informed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India has already announced to send 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and medicine to Afghanistan by road via Pakistan. India and Pakistan are finalising the transport-related roadmap. On Friday, India said that it always stands with the people of Afghanistan and is committed to providing them humanitarian aid, including food and medicines.
The medicines were sent from Dubai as there is no direct flight between India and Afghanistan at present. The aid was handed over to the World Health Organization (WHO) and will be used at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Kabul. “In the coming weeks, we would be supplying more batches of humanitarian assistance consisting of medicines and food grains for the people of Afghanistan,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Taliban, who occupied Afghanistan, welcomed the aid. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a tweet, “the Islamic Emirate is grateful to India for its humanitarian assistance and cooperation.”
India had already supplied 3.6 tonnes of life-saving medicines and 5 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Afghanistan in three consignments. Significantly, on January 1, India supplied 5 lakh doses of vaccines. In December, the country sent 1.6 tonnes of medical aid. In January, a consignment of 2 tonnes of life-saving drugs was sent as part of humanitarian aid. In addition, 5 lakh doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were sent.
The United Nations (UN) has sought close to $8 billion dollars for humanitarian activities in Afghanistan during 2022, including $4.4 billion in additional humanitarian assistance. It has said that about 23 million Afghan people are in a state of humanitarian emergency, and UNICEF estimates more than one million children are at risk of dying from malnutrition and hunger-related disease in Afghanistan.