Pakistan allows India to use land route to send food aid to Afghanistan

Nov 24, 2021: The federal cabinet on Tuesday allowed India to use Pakistan’s land route to send wheat aid to Afghanistan, where millions of people have been starving since the onset of severe cold.

Islamabad will also send aid, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement, including 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat, which is in line with the level sent by India. “We have approved the passage of 50,000 tonnes of wheat that India wants to send to Afghanistan,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told a news conference after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“We believe that the people of Afghanistan should be helped in any way on humanitarian grounds,” he said.

New Delhi has not commented on the announcement.

The PMO said in a statement that Islamabad would send Rs 5 billion ($28.65 million) in humanitarian aid to Kabul, including 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelter and other food items. It also said that Pakistan would facilitate the return of Afghan patients sent to India for medical treatment.

Conflict, drought and the combination of CoVID-19 have left millions in Afghanistan, under Taliban rule, facing starvation or poverty.

The World Food Program (WFP), a United Nations agency, says food prices have risen since the second drought in four years destroyed nearly 40 percent of the wheat crop. He said Afghanistan was facing a shortage of 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and only 5% of its population had enough to eat.

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