India

India will stand by Afghans as it did in the past: Jaishankar calls for non-discriminatory distribution of aid

By PTI

New Delhi: With a serious humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, India on Monday said it is ready to stand with Afghans and provide the country with uninterrupted access to aid providers as well as “non-discriminatory” access to relief supplies across all sections. Called for distribution. Society.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that as an immediate neighbour, India is monitoring developments in Afghanistan with “understandable concern”, and added that travel and safe passage that could emerge as an obstacle to humanitarian aid , should be resolved immediately.

In a brief virtual address at a UN high-level meeting on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the minister also raised the threat of rising poverty levels, saying this could have devastating effects on regional stability.

He said that India’s approach towards Afghanistan has always been and will continue to be guided by its historical friendship with its people.

“Today, I would like to underline that in the face of a gravely evolving situation, India stands ready to stand by the Afghan people as in the past.

To ensure that this happens swiftly and effectively, we believe that the international community must come together to create the best possible enabling environment.”

“The challenges in the current situation are that of efficient logistics.

It is therefore imperative that humanitarian aid providers be given unhindered, unrestricted and direct access to Afghanistan.”

The foreign minister said that once relief materials reach that country, the world will naturally expect “non-discriminatory distribution of humanitarian aid to all sections of Afghan society”.

“Only the United Nations has the capacity to monitor such efforts and reassure donors.

Read also | UN chief announces allocation of USD 20 million to support humanitarian operations in Afghanistan

As the picture becomes clear with regard to legitimate concerns, I am confident that the world will move forward and help the Afghan people in their hour of need.”

His remarks come in the backdrop of fears that relief materials, once distributed, will reach the intended beneficiaries under the Taliban regime.

“Afghanistan is passing through a critical and challenging period. There has been a major change in its political, economic, social and security situation and, consequently, in its humanitarian needs,” he said.

“As an immediate neighbour, India is monitoring developments with understandable concern,” he said.

Jaishankar said India has consistently supported the central role of the global body on the future of the country as a multilateral forum is always more effective than smaller groups in building global consensus and encouraging cohesive action.

In his remarks, he also said that UN Security Council Resolution 2593 should guide the approach of the international community in the days ahead in Afghanistan.

The UNSC resolution, adopted on August 30, headed by India’s global body, demanded that Afghan territory be used to threaten or attack any country or to harbor and train terrorists and to plan or finance terrorist attacks. should not be done.

The External Affairs Minister also referred to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) assessment that the poverty level in that country is in imminent danger of rising from 72 to 97 percent.

“This will have disastrous consequences, not only in our collective fight against poverty, but also for regional stability.

Even as we address it, it is important that the issue of travel and safe passage which may emerge as a hindrance to humanitarian aid is resolved immediately,” Jaishankar said.

He said that those who want to travel in and out of Afghanistan should be given such facilities without any hindrance.

“Normalization of regular commercial operations of Kabul airport will not only aid in that regard but will form the basis for regular flow of relief material.

This will also accelerate activities that will complement the domestic relief measures.”

Jaishankar also listed India’s contribution to the human needs of Afghan society in the past.

“This includes providing more than one million metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan over the past decade.

Last year also we have helped 75,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan.”

The Minister said that India has also participated in the World Food Program for distribution of high protein biscuits over many years and that the innovative scheme specifically supports the vulnerable school going children of Afghanistan.

“India’s efforts and helping the Afghan people have been a way of contributing to livelihoods and larger structures, both directly and indirectly, as they have to have a direct physical lead.

Our friendship is reflected in the Indian development projects that are present in all 34 provinces today.”

Jaishankar said that India has invested more than three billion US dollars for the welfare of the people of Afghanistan.

“We have started 500 projects in important sectors like power, water supply, road connectivity, healthcare, education, agriculture and capacity building,” he said.

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