New Delhi: Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh V Shringla on Tuesday flagged off the first consignment of humanitarian aid of 50,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan, in the presence of Afghanistan's Ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay.

"We are extending our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, in the form of 50,000 tons of wheat. We are flagging off our first consignment of 2,500 tons in 50 Afghan trucks, today. It'll be delivered to the World Food Program for dissemination," said Shringla.

"This consignment will go from Attari ICP, Jalalabad, via Pakistan; many such consignments will be sent to fulfill the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in the next 2 to 3 months," added the Foreign Secretary.

In a ceremony held at Amritsar, Shringla along with Afghan Ambassador Farid Mamundzay and World Food Program Country Director Bishaw Parajuli flagged off the first convoy of 50 trucks carrying 2500 MT of wheat assistance from India to Afghanistan via Pakistan.

In response to appeals made by the United Nations for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the Government of India has decided to gift 50,000 MT of wheat to the people of Afghanistan. The supply will be effected by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and transported from ICP Attari (India) to Jalalabad (Afghanistan) by Afghan transporters.

The shipment is part of the commitment made by the Government of India to supply 50,000 MT of wheat for the people of Afghanistan. The wheat assistance will be delivered in multiple consignments and will be handed over to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. In this regard, the Government of India signed an agreement with the WFP for the distribution of 50,000 MT of wheat within Afghanistan, read the Ministry of External Affairs release.

The Government of India signed an agreement with the WFP for the distribution of 50,000 MT of wheat within Afghanistan.

India remains committed to its special relationship with the people of Afghanistan. In this endeavour, India has already supplied 500,000 doses of COVAXIN, 13 tons of essential lifesaving medicines and 500 units of winter clothing. These consignments were handed over to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kabul, added the release.

In response to the humanitarian aid sent to the Afghan people, Afghanistan's Ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay thanked the Indian government.

"I want to thank the Government of India. India has always come forward to help Afghanistan. Friendly relations between India and Afghanistan have a long history. Afghanistan has also stood by India whenever it is needed," said Mamundzay.

"As per WFP 20 million people require food in Afghanistan and India being a big brother is helping us through food aids and we are thankful for that," added Mamundzay.

He said that 50,000 metric tons of wheat will be delivered in a month to the country and will be distributed to Afghan people facing food scarcity.

Talking about the delay, Afghanistan's Ambassador said, "We (Afghanistan) were in great need of food grains in November and December but Pakistan took a long time to allow the use of its roads/roads which we are saddened. India has given medicine to Afghanistan and even the Corona vaccine has helped Afghanistan in its fight against the pandemic".