Amritsar: A delegation of the United Nation's World Food Programme (WFP) visited Amritsar, Punjab to understand the process of procurement, testing and transportation of wheat from India to Afghanistan.
Dr Stephanie Heard, Loss Prevention Officer at WFP, said that the delegation is in India to familiarise themselves with the process of the wheat procurement as India has transported 10,000 MTs of wheat to Afghanistan.
"We are here to see the initiative that the Government of India has taken for the people of Afghanistan," noted Sandro Banao, Commodity Specialist at the UN World Food Programme.
He praised India for helping Afghanistan with humanitarian aid, saying "it is very kind of India to send wheat to Afghanistan".
Citing the increasing demand for wheat globally, Banao also showed interest in UN WFP ramping up its cooperation with India.
"Also, our interest is to scale up our partnership with the Government of India due to the increased requirement of wheat globally," he added.
Notably, India till now has delivered the first tranche of 10,000 MTs of wheat to Afghanistan successfully and delivery of the next batch of 10,000 MTs of wheat is in the pipeline, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last August which has caused economic disarray and food shortages, pushing the country to the brink of a humanitarian crisis.
V Muraleedharan, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, said India has historical and civilizational ties with Afghanistan. India's development partnership with Afghanistan included projects spread across each of the 34 provinces of the country in critical areas such as power, water supply, road connectivity, health care, education, agriculture and capacity building.
"In the last two years, India has contributed to the humanitarian requirements of the people of Afghan. This includes 75,000 MTs of wheat (2020), COVID related medical supplies (June 2020) and 500,000 doses of COVID vaccines (January 2021)," he added.