India on Saturday sent its first tranche of humanitarian aid, including 1.6 metric tonnes of life-saving medicines, to Afghanistan since its takeover by the Taliban in August.
The medical supplies reached Kabul from Delhi on a return flight that had brought 10 Indians and 94 Afghans from the war-torn nation a day ago.
Farid Mamundzay, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, said the aid was a “gift from people of India”.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the consignments will be handed over to representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Kabul.
In a statement, the MEA said, “In view of the challenging humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Government of India has dispatched humanitarian assistance consisting of medical supplies on the return flight today.”
“These medicines will be handed over to the representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Kabul and will be administered at the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital, Kabul,” it added.
India has already announced that it will send 50,000 tonnes of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan by road transport through Pakistan. India and Pakistan are now finalising the modalities for transportation of the consignments.
India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country.
Regarding Friday’s special chartered flight, the MEA said 10 Indians and 94 Afghans came to Delhi.
“The minority community members carried with them two ‘Swaroops of Guru Granth Sahib’ and some ancient Hindu manuscripts,” it said.
The people were brought under India’s “Operation Devi Shakti” which was launched to evacuate Indians as well as Afghans from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on August 15.
“Under ‘Operation Devi Shakti’, a total of 669 people have now been evacuated from Afghanistan. This comprises 448 Indians and 206 Afghans, which includes members of the Afghan Hindu/Sikh minority community,” the MEA said.