Afghanistan is currently in the midst of a humanitarian disaster

United Nations: India has said that its approach to Afghanistan has always been guided by its "special relationship" with the Afghan people and New Delhi remains steadfast in its commitment towards much-needed humanitarian assistance to the people of the war-torn country.

As Afghanistan's largest regional development partner, India is willing to coordinate with other stakeholders to work towards enabling expeditious provision of much-needed humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said on Wednesday at the Security Council briefing on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

“Our special relationship with the Afghan people and the guidance spelt out in UNSC Resolution 2593 would continue to guide India's approach to Afghanistan. We remain steadfast in our commitment towards humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

In this endeavour, the diplomat noted, India has committed to provide 50,000 MT of wheat and lifesaving medicines and one million doses of COVID vaccines to the Afghan people.

India has already dispatched three shipments of humanitarian assistance consisting of medicines and COVID medicines, which were handed over to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital in Kabul.

India also joined other Council members last month in supporting a resolution to provide humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan, while ensuring that the Security Council exercises its oversight to guard against any possible diversion of funds and misuse of exemptions from sanctions.

Mr Tirumurti reiterated that humanitarian assistance should be based on principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence and disbursement of the aid should be non-discriminatory and accessible to all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political belief.

Afghanistan is currently in the midst of a humanitarian disaster as several countries and international organisations have suspended or substantially cut aid to Kabul after the Taliban takeover.

Afghanistan has been under Taliban rule since August 15 when the Afghan hardliner group ousted the elected government of President Ashraf Ghani and forced him to flee the country and take refuge in the UAE.