India, WFP sign agreement for 5th tranche of wheat donation to Afghanistan

File photo.

India recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for the delivery of humanitarian assistance comprising 10,000 tons of wheat for the people of Afghanistan who are reeling from the effects of the acute food crisis in the country, WFP said in a statement on Wednesday.

The agreement was signed in Mumbai between J. P. Singh, Joint Secretary, PAI Division, Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, and Elisabeth Faure, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in India.

The MoU marks the fifth tranche of food aid India committed to in 2020 and will be shipped through Iran’s Chabahar Port. Last year, the Government of India shipped 40,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan, contributing to WFP’s efforts to reach 23 million food-insecure people across the country.

“India’s support has been a lifeline for Afghan families facing hunger and it is a critical part of WFP’s humanitarian response. I want to extend our sincere gratitude to the Indian Government for its continued support to the people of Afghanistan,’’ said Faure.

“The fifth tranche builds upon assistance already delivered to those who need it most by WFP in Afghanistan. India has delivered on its commitment, standing by the historical relations between the people of the two countries and the pressing needs on the ground,” said Singh.

Since August 2022, nine out of 10 Afghan families cannot afford enough food. Currently, nearly 20 million Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from. Six million of them are one step away from famine. A massive two-thirds of the population – more than 28 million people – needs humanitarian assistance this year, 10 million more than two years ago.

The country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis after decades of conflict, severe drought and a devastating economic crisis. Last month’s earthquake will only add to the already immense needs.