Pakistan to send $28 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

Islamabad, Nov. 22 (EFE) .- Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday ordered the immediate shipment of humanitarian assistance worth 5 billion rupees ($28.5 million) to war-torn Afghanistan, including food commodities, emergency medical supplies and winter shelters, his office said in a statement.

Khan chaired the first meeting of a committee at the newly established Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell, during which he also approved the reduction of import tariffs and sales tax on key Afghan exports to the country.

According to the statement, the aid package includes 50,000 tons of wheat to take care of the food needs of Afghanistan.

The Pakistan government also agreed to allow another 50,000 tons of wheat offered by India as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to pass through its territory once the details are finalized with the Indian side.

Moreover, Islamabad will facilitate the return of Afghan patients who had gone to India for medical treatment and are stuck there.

The prime minister said that the government will continue the policy of offering free vaccination against Covid-19 for Afghans entering Pakistan through land, which was started on Nov. 13.

The statement confirmed that a bus service between Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar to the Afghan city Jalalabad will be revived to facilitate travelers on both sides.

Both the countries had agreed to resume the service, which had been suspended in 2016, during Afghan Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi’s visit to Pakistan between Nov. 10-12.

The prime minister’s office said that a senior delegation of Afghan health officials will visit Islamabad later this week to work out modalities for Pakistan’s aid to Afghanistan’s health sector.

In the statement, Khan reminded the international community of the “collective responsibility” to support Afghanistan to avoid a humanitarian crisis, insisting that his country “will not abandon Afghans in their time of need.”

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