Upholding its foreign policy “Neighborhood First”, India reiterated its food support to Myanmar, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Speaking at the United Nations Security Council open debate on famine and conflict-induced global food insecurity, Indian ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said India has always been proactive in assisting its partners in times of distress.
She highlighted that the country provided food aid even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic – thousands of metric tonnes of wheat, rice, pulses, and lentils to several countries, including Africa – to strengthen food security.
New Delhi commenced the donation of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan in light of the war-torn country’s deteriorating humanitarian situation. Kamboj said India has continued its humanitarian support for Myanmar, including a grant of 10,000 tonnes of rice and wheat. India has also assisted Sri Lanka.
Describing the global food insecurity situation as daunting, the diplomat highlighted that an increasing number of people have been facing acute food shortages over the last four years. According to the UN estimates, 362 million people in 62 countries require humanitarian aid – this is record high. Food, fertilizer and energy crises, due to armed conflicts around the world, pose significant challenges.
Kamboj called for the need to find common solutions through dialogue and diplomacy, with peace, cooperation and multilateralism being essential for building the world’s collective future. Addressing food grain shortages require going beyond current constraints. The Indian envoy added that India is committed to playing its part in addressing contemporary global challenges and supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in continuing the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI).