India to provide 1 lakh HCQ tablets, 1,000 metric tonnes rice to drought-hit Madagascar
The Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa will leave with medical assistance and food on March 3 for drought-hit Madagascar in East Africa.
The Government of India announced on March 1, 2021, that it will send a consignment of 1 lakh tablets of Hydroxychloroquine and 1,000 metric tonnes of rice to drought-hit Madagascar in East Africa.
The humanitarian assistance by India will be delivered onboard the Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa. The naval ship will leave with medical assistance and food on March 3 and is expected to reach Madagascar’s Port of Ehoala between March 21 and 24.
The news of the Indian assistance was conveyed to the Madagascar government on March 1 during a phone call between the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba A.S. Oliv, his Madagascar counterpart.
Good conversation with FM of Madagascar @Tehindrazanari1.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) March 1, 2021
Informed him that Indian humanitarian assistance would be delivered in the coming days. Will include food and medical supplies.
Drought and rise in hunger in Madagascar:
The Southern part of the East African Country has been facing drought for the last 3 years. It has wiped out the harvests and has severely disrupted people’s access to food and hunger is on the rise due to the consecutive years of drought. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the local’s sufferings.
In January 2021, the World Food Programme mentioned that the famine-like conditions in South Madagascar have led to an increase in the number of people that are in need of humanitarian assistance compared with last year, to 1.3 million.
India ready to assist its maritime neighbour:
An official statement by MEA mentioned that in response to an urgent appeal made by the Madagascar government for international solidarity and assistance to deal with the crisis in the South of Madagascar because of severe drought, the Indian government will send a consignment to Madagascar.
The External Affairs Minister during the phone call also assured that as a maritime neighbour across the Indian Ocean, the people and government of Madagascar can always count on the Indian people and government.
INS Jalashwa, during the trip, will also have on-board an Indian Naval Training Team which is deployed in Madagascar for training and capacity building of Malagasy Special Forces for two weeks.
Phone call between EAM S. Jaishankar and his Madagascar counterpart:
During the phone call between the two ministers, S. Jaishankar from India recalled the excellent bilateral ties between India and Madagascar. There was also an acknowledgment that India has always been among the first responders when it comes to assisting Madagascar in such a humanitarian crisis.
The Foreign Ministers of India and Madagascar also discussed various other issues of mutual interest.
Previous assistance to Madagascar by India:
• The assistance to the friendly countries of Comoros and Madagascar is in line with PM Modi’s vision of SAGAR as well as India’s time-tested role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
• A Consignment of 1,000 metric tonnes of rice, in September 2018, was delivered onboard an Indian Naval vessel to Madagascar.
• Indian Navy was the first responder when Madagascar was struck by Cyclone Diane. Assistance was delivered under Operation Vanilla by INS Airavat in January 2020.
• INS Shardul, in March 2020, visited Antisiranana Port and delivered 600 tonnes of rice as assistance from India in order to deal with heavy floods in the Northern region of Madagascar.