Indonesia, India Send Humanitarian Aid To Afghanistan

JAKARTA— Indonesia and India joined other countries in helping the people of Afghanistan face freezing winter conditions and in desperate need of food.

Following President Joko Widodo’s orders in response to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, two Garuda Indonesia’s aircraft carrying humanitarian aid including 65 tonnes of food left to Kabul on early Sunday.

“Indonesia will continue to strengthen and contribute towards humanitarian diplomacy. For Indonesia, the safety and wellbeing of the people will always be the priority,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi tweeted.

Earlier, India sent two tonnes of life-saving medicines to the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul, the third tranche of aid sent to the country since December 2021.

The country routed the medicines through Dubai last Friday, as there are currently no direct flights between India and Afghanistan, before handing over to the World Health Organisation representative.

“In the coming weeks, we would supply more batches of humanitarian assistance comprising of medicines and food grains to Afghanistan,” online media quoted India’s external affairs ministry.

The Indian government allowed a special charter flight last month loaded with 1.6 tonnes of medicines and supplied 500,000 doses of corona vaccine on Jan 1.

Independent humanitarian group, ACAPS says access to health services is challenging in Afghanistan.

Almost 90 per cent of 2,300 health facilities have closed after the withdrawal of US troops and the Taliban takeover of the country on Aug 15 and the suspension of foreign donors’ assistance.

The World Bank’s data showed foreign aid once made up nearly 75 per cent of Afghanistan’s public expenditures.

After Aug 15, the US froze over US$9 billion in the Afghan Central Bank’s American accounts, while major funders like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund also paused disbursements.