HomeCOVID-19India donates 5 lakh Covid vaccine doses to Afghanistan

India donates 5 lakh Covid vaccine doses to Afghanistan

India provided 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccinations to the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Kabul on Saturday, and promised to send another 500,000 doses in the following weeks as part of humanitarian relief to Afghanistan’s population.

Because there are currently no direct flights between India and Afghanistan, the vaccines were delivered to Kabul on an Iranian Mahan Air flight. The Taliban praised India for sending 1.6 tonnes of life-saving medicines to the same hospital earlier this year.

“India sent the latest batch of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan today, consisting of 500,000 doses of Covid vaccine (Covaxin).” The same was sent to Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Hospital, according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs. “In the next weeks, another batch of 500,000 dosages will be delivered.”

On December 11, the Indian government dispatched 1.6 tonnes of medications to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health in Kabul via a special charter flight that also transported 85 Afghan nationals who had become stranded in India following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The same flight had flown 104 individuals from Kabul to New Delhi the day before, predominantly Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.

The drugs were delivered via the World Health Organization.

However, India’s promise to provide 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan via Pakistani land routes has been stalled due to Pakistani constraints. Pakistan announced on December 3 that wheat and medications would be allowed to be supplied across the Wagah land border crossing in Afghan trucks, but the details have yet to be worked out.

According to the external affairs ministry, India is committed to provide food grains, one million doses of Covid-19 vaccinations, and important life-saving medications to Afghans.

The remaining medical help and wheat will be provided by India in the next weeks, according to the ministry. “In this context, we are in contact with UN agencies and others to finalise transportation options,” the statement continued.

According to the World Food Programme, 98 percent of Afghans are hungry as a result of a spiralling economic crisis, violence, and drought, and this number has risen by 17 percent since August.

“Afghanistan is facing an avalanche of starvation and deprivation like I’ve never seen in my 20 years with the World Food Programme,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, the agency’s Afghanistan country director. “By 2022, we’ll need $220 million each month to help 23 million Afghans.”

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