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India rushes to send rice, HCQ to drought-hit Madagascar

File Photo: That India will be despatching supplies to Madagascar was conveyed to Madagascar Foreign Minister during a telephone call with Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar (ANI Photo )Premium
File Photo: That India will be despatching supplies to Madagascar was conveyed to Madagascar Foreign Minister during a telephone call with Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar (ANI Photo )

  • India is to rush 1000 metric tonnes of rice and 100,000 tablets of HCQ
  • The humanitarian assistance is being delivered on-board Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa, which will leave with the food and medical assistance on 3 March and is expected to reach Madagascar between 21-24 March, foreign ministry said

New Delhi: India is to rush 1000 metric tonnes of rice and 100,000 tablets of hydroxy chloroquine to the Indian Ocean island country of Madagascar as assistance to deal with the humanitarian crisis triggered by a severe drought, a statement from the Indian foreign ministry said on Monday.

This reinforces India’s credentials as an early responder in crises in its neighborhood besides that as a regional power. In the past few years, India has stepped up its interaction with countries in the Indian Ocean region including the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros besides Madagascar.

That India will be despatching food and medical aid to Madagascar was conveyed to Madagascar Foreign Minister Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba A.S Oliva during a telephone call with Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar.

“The humanitarian assistance is being delivered on-board Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa, which will leave with the food and medical assistance on 3 March and is expected to reach the Port of Ehoala in Madagascar between 21-24 March 2021," the Indian foreign ministry statement said.

During the phone conversation, Jaishankar also said that India had always been among the first responders when it comes to assist the people of Madagascar in similar situations of crisis.

In September 2018, a consignment of 1000 metric tonnes of rice was delivered by an Indian naval ship to Madagascar.

The Indian Navy was also the first to respond when Cyclone Diane struck Madagascar with New Delhi dispatching “prompt assistance" under a mission codenamed Operation Vanilla by INS Airavat in January 2020.

In March 2020, INS Shardul visited the port of Antisiranana and delivered 600 tonnes of rice as HADR assistance to Madagascar from India for dealing with heavy floods in northern Madagascar.

Jaishankar assured the Foreign Minister of Madagascar “that as a maritime neighbour across the Indian Ocean, the Government and people of Madagascar can always count on the support and solidarity of the Government and people of India. The two Foreign Ministers also discussed other issues of mutual interest."

During this trip, INS Jalashwa will also have on-board an Indian Naval training team which is being deployed in Madagascar for capacity building and training of the Malagasy Special Forces for two weeks, the foreign ministry statement said.

INS Jalashwa will also call at Port Anjoun in the Republic of Comoros where it will deliver a consignment of 1000 metric tonnes of Indian rice.

“The supplies of food assistance and support for capacity building to Madagascar and Comoros is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and India’s time-tested role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region, the Indian statement added.

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