Attari/New Delhi: India on Tuesday sent the first consignment of 2,500 MT of wheat as humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan by road through Pakistan.
In a ceremony held at Amritsar, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla along with Afghan Ambassador Farid Mamundzay and World Food Program Country Director Bishaw Parajuli, flagged off the first convoy of 50 trucks carrying 2,500 MT of wheat assistance from India to Afghanistan via Pakistan.
Each 50 kg wheat bag is stamped with “Gift from the people of India to the people of Afghanistan” in English, Pashto and Dari. The wheat supply is being 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, an official statement said. In response to appeals made by the United Nations for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the Government of India decided to gift 50,000 MT of wheat to the people of 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. The 50,000 MT of Wheat excludes the packing weight.
The Ministry of External Affairs decided to send the wheat following the acute food insecurity being faced by people of Afghanistan. The Food Corporation of India is delivering the Wheat of RMS (Rabi Market Season) 2020-21 in 50 kg jute bags.
The sacks are double bagged for preservation of the consignment from moisture and any infection. The shelf life of the wheat is minimum 1 year from the date of dispatch and necessary information would be clearly mentioned on the bag.
Fumigation of the consignment has been undertaken before handing over for transportation in order to cater for long passage time. Guidelines for necessary precautions to preserve the consignment during the journey would be given to the Afghan transport agency.
The packaging is done in double gunny with inner lining being Jute and the outer packing of HDPE/PP (high-density polyethylene, a versatile plastic). The net weight of Wheat in each bag would be 50 Kgs. FCI is providing the necessary phyto-sanitary and fit to consumption certificate before handing over the wheat. India is also getting the wheat quality tested by WFP approved laboratory.