The Government of Nepal sent a chartered aircraft with humanitarian relief materials for the people of Afghanistan from the people of Nepal. The Humanitarian Assistance containing medicines, garments, and household items was handed over by Sewa Lamsal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal to Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan amid a brief program organized at the Kabul Airport today.
Foreign Minister Dr. Narayan Khadka led the efforts in realizing the humanitarian assistance as a goodwill gesture of the people of Nepal. Economic hardship and harsh winter weather in Afghanistan necessitated humanitarian assistance and support from the international community to the people of Afghanistan.
Private sector apex bodies, organizations, and individuals including the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Nepal Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Honorary Consular Corps- Nepal, Agrawal Sewa Kendra, and Himalaya Airlines extended their generous hands in support of the Mission.
At a press meet at the Tribhuvan International Airport before the chartered flight, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Narayan Khadka shared that the in-kind humanitarian assistance included medicine, clothes and utensils among others as per the list provided by the United Nations.
According to Minister Khadka, the in-kind assistance weighed over 14 tonnes except for food items. It is for the first time in the modern history of Nepal that the government provided humanitarian assistance to foreign countries in its own effort.
Minister Khadka viewed that the act had sent across the message that Nepal could provide humanitarian assistance to other countries in the event of disasters.
"We take assistance from various countries and agencies during big natural disasters. However, this act of providing support will send a message that Nepal not only always takes assistance, it also doesn't lag behind to provide support to other countries when needed. This will help lift up Nepal's image high in the international arena," he said.
Minister Khadka said all the materials were provided free of cost by the entrepreneurs without incurring any liability to the government. He said the Himalayan Airlines supported this by providing the free chartered flight to transport the materials to Afghanistan.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Khadka said it was the common problem of the South Asian nations and the required humanitarian assistance was being provided in keeping with this responsibility.