India supplies 5 lakh Covaxin vaccine doses to Afghanistan
In the second tranche of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after it fell to the Taliban, India on Saturday supplied 5,00,000 doses of the Covaxin vaccine to the war-torn country and announced that an equal number of jabs would be sent in the coming weeks.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the consignment of vaccine doses was handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul.
It said another batch of additional 5,00,000 doses of the vaccine would be supplied to Afghanistan in the coming weeks.
The consignment was sent to Kabul by a flight of Iran's Mahan Air.
"Today, India supplied the next batch of humanitarian assistance consisting of 500,000 doses of COVID vaccine (COVAXIN) to Afghanistan. The same was handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kabul," the MEA said in a statement.
"Another batch of additional 500,000 doses would be supplied in coming weeks," it said.
The MEA said India has committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people consisting of food grains, one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and essential life-saving drugs.
"In coming weeks, we would be undertaking the supply of wheat and the remaining medical assistance. In this regard, we are in touch with UN agencies and others for finalising the modalities for transportation," it said.
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.
Farid Mamundzay, the Afghan envoy to India appointed by the previous Ashraf Ghani government, said the vaccines received by the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul would be supplied to many hospitals in the country.
"Another batch of additional 500,000 doses would be supplied in coming weeks. Thank you India for providing Afghan people life saving gift on the first day of 2022! I hope this year would be peaceful & prosperous for all Afghans," he tweeted.
India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country.
India has not recognised the new regime in Afghanistan and has been pitching for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul besides insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for any terrorist activities against any country.
India has been concerned over the recent developments in Afghanistan.
It hosted a regional dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10 that was attended by NSAs of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The participating countries vowed to work towards ensuring that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for global terrorism and called for the formation of an "open and truly inclusive" government in Kabul with representation from all sections of Afghan society.
A declaration released at the end of the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan said Afghan territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts and that officials lent strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan.