The government is providing humanitarian assistance to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea

In continuation of the ongoing humanitarian mission ‘Sagar-II’, India handed over food aid to the people of Djibouti on Wednesday. Indian Naval Ship Airavat arrived at Port of Djibouti on November 10 as a part of the government of India’s initiative to assist friendly foreign countries to overcome natural calamities and COVID-19 pandemic.

The food aid was handed over by Ambassador of India to Djibouti Ashok Kumar to Secretary-General, Ministry of Social Affairs, and Solidarity of Djibouti Mme Ifrah Ali Ahmed in a ceremony held on November 11.

“Amb. Ashok Kumar handed over 50 MT gift of food items to H.E. Mme Ifrah Ali Ahmed, SG, Ministry of Social Affairs & Solidarity as part of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to Djibouti delivered by INS AIRAVAT,” the Indian embassy in Djibouti said in a tweet.

The ceremony was also attended by Commanding Officer INS Airavat, Commander Prasanna Kumar.

The government is providing humanitarian assistance to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea in keeping with India's tradition with reaching out to the people of Africa in times of need.

During his weekly briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said this is in the form of food aid of 270 metric to people affected by natural calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic.

INS Airavat left Mumbai on October 24 on a visit to the region with this aid which comprises of rice, wheat flour, and sugar. It is in the port of Djibouti and has delivered 50 MT of food aid. It will leave Djibouti and reach Mombasa in Kenya on November 20 to deliver 70 MT of food aid meant for South Sudan.

According to Srivastava, INS Airavat had earlier delivered 100 MT of aid to South Sudan after reaching Port Sudan on November. The ship then delivered 50 MT of food aid to Eritrea.

"This gesture of the government of India has been greatly appreciated by the countries concerned," he said.

The Mission Sagar-II is aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and reiterates India’s position as a dependable partner in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with the Indian Navy as the first responder in the maritime domain.

In May, the first phase of the mission was initiated to deliver Covid-19 related assistance to the countries in the Indian Ocean Littoral states. The INS Kesari returned to India in June, assisting local governments in the Indian Ocean Region in the formulation of a long-term strategy to counter COVID 19 through mutual sharing of experience.

The mission highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her maritime neighbors and further strengthens the existing bond.

The Indian Navy is implementing this mission in close coordination with the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs, and other agencies of the government of India.