1st visit by Indian officials since Taliban took over power in Afghanistan in 2021.
India has sent a team of diplomats to oversee the delivery operations of the country’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the Indian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.
It is the first time that Indian officials have visited Afghanistan since the Taliban took over last year and India evacuated its diplomats from Afghanistan.
“During the visit, the team will meet representatives of the International Organizations involved in the distribution of the humanitarian assistance. In addition, the team is expected to visit various places where Indian programmes/projects are being implemented,” a statement by the ministry said.
Stating that “India’s development and humanitarian assistance has received a widespread appreciation across the entire spectrum of Afghan society,” the ministry said: “The Indian team will meet the senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on India’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.”
India has already dispatched several shipments of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, including wheat, medicines, COVID-19 vaccines, and winter clothing.
India has also gifted one million doses of India-made COVAXIN vaccine to Iran to administer to the Afghan refugees in Iran.
The UN and its partners had launched a $4.4 billion funding appeal in January to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan in 2022.
“This is the largest ever appeal for a single country for humanitarian assistance,” UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief chief Martin Griffiths had told reporters in Geneva while launching the appeal.
The UN said 22 million people inside Afghanistan and a further 5.7 million displaced Afghans in five neighboring countries need vital relief this year.