A first consignment of wheat crossed the Afghanistan-Pakistan border at Torkham today.
An initial consignment of 1,800 metric tonnes of wheat crossed the Afghanistan-Pakistan border-point at Torkham today. It was handed over to Afghan Taliban authorities by Muhammed Shehzad Arbab, a former civil servant who advises prime minister Imran Khan on affairs concerning Afghan-Pakistan border matters.
The consignment is part of a larger, in kind humanitarian assistance package for the people of Afghanistan. The package, most of which is in the pipeline, includes 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat, winter shelters and medical supplies worth a total of 500 crore Pakistani Rupees.
Bitter winter and food shortage
This provision of wheat follows UN reports of some 23 million Afghans facing acute food shortage and hunger are arriving of estimates of the UN Afghanistan. Aid workers fear the winter and food shortages can spiral into an unprecedented food-insecure situation.
Coincidentally, India today provided Pakistan with a list of logistical contractors and drivers who would transport Indian wheat to Afghanistan. This comes after almost three months of intense negotiations with the Pakistan government because the wheat had to cross the Wagah border and pass through Pakistan on its way to Afghanistan.
India had announced in October its intent to provide 50,000 metric tones of wheat to the Afghan people to see through a grim, bitter winter following the collapse of the elected Afghanistan government.
Image: Wikimedia l Denis Bastianelli, CIRAD