India signed an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for the distribution of 50,000 MT of wheat that it has committed to sending Afghanistan as part of a humanitarian assistance, with diplomatic efforts under way to begin sending truck convoys through Pakistan by road, expected to begin after Punjab elections on February 20 are completed.
- The agreement was announced by the Indian Embassy in Rome, where Ambassador Neena Malhotra handed over the MoU for WFP to take charge of the wheat convoys when they reach Afghanistan, and to distribute them to those Afghans who are facing a humanitarian crisis.
- According to the MoU, the wheat will be taken through Pakistan to the Afghan border crossing and handed over to WFP officials in Kandahar beginning February 22.
- The wheat will eventually be divided into five batches of 10,000 MT, to be distributed across the country on approximately 200 trucks that are run by WFP.
- The WFP runs its own logistics network inside Afghanistan, partnering with civil society groups, and has launched a global campaign for enough food and aid for the population facing malnutrition — estimated to be half the population or 22 million Afghans.
SOURCE: The Hindu