India’s Aid to Afghanistan

On January 2, 2022 India donated 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Afghanistan and will further send another 500,000 doses in coming days as a part of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Key Points

  • Doses were donated to the Indira Gandhi children’s hospital in Kabul.
  • Vaccines were sent via a flight of Iran’s Mahan Air, since there are no direct flights between India and Afghanistan, currently.
  • India had also sent 1.6 tonnes of life-saving medicines to Kabul hospital, on December 11, 2021.
  • These medicines were routed through the World Health Organization.

India to provide Wheat

India had also offered to provide 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan via land routes in Pakistan. However, it has been held up because of conditions provided by Pakistan. On December 3, Pakistan stated to allow wheat and medicines supply via Wagah land border crossing in Afghan trucks. But modalities have not yet finalised.

Starvation in Afghanistan

As per World Food Programme, around 98% of Afghans are starving in the country, because of a worsening economic crisis, conflict and drought. This figure has increased by 17% since August 2021.

India’s Assistance to Afghanistan

  • India’s development programmes in Afghanistan are based on five pillars:
  1. Large infrastructure projects
  2. Human resource development and capacity building
  3. Humanitarian assistance
  4. High-impact community development projects
  5. Enhancing trade and investment through air and land connectivity
  • India has signed an agreement to build the Shahtoot dam. The dam would provide safe drinking water to 2 million residents in Kabul city. It has been built on 202 km Pul-e-Khumri transmission line, through which India provides power to Kabul city.
  • India has committed USD 3 billion for rebuilding and reconstruction of Afghanistan, since 2001.
  • India also helped in redevelopment of Parliament in Afghanistan.

India-Afghanistan Relations

Relations between the people of Afghanistan and India dates back Indus Valley Civilisation. The Mauryan brought Buddhism from India and controlled southern part of Hindu Kush. Afghanistan has been influenced by Buddhist, Hindu and Zoroastrian cultures, before Islam arrived in 7th century. Both the countries see imprint of bilateral timeless relationship through Buddhist symbols of Aynak & Bamyan in Afghanistan as well as through majestic monuments in Delhi & in Indian cultures, arts, languages, foods, literatures, and festivals.

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