India Meets with Taliban Regarding Needed Humanitarian Aid

The Indian External Affairs Ministry revealed that talks had occurred with the Taliban within Afghanistan recently. The meetings were the first since the United States left the country.

The talks addressed the impending humanitarian crisis that is besetting Afghanistan. The global food shortages that are predicted because of the war in Ukraine will hit poor countries first, and Afghanistan is considered one of the poorest countries in the world.

India has banned all wheat exports in anticipation of this problem. Part of the Indian talks were to help facilitate the transfer of 20,000 tons of wheat to help the Taliban hedge against the coming food shortages.

The Indian aid package also included medical supplies. There is a desperate need for these supplies because Afghanistan has low uptake of vaccines. To make matters worse, the medical infrastructure is crumbling as well.

For their part, the Taliban cited the meetings as the first step to normalizing relations between the two countries. India has been slow to recognize the legitimacy of the Taliban but that is not stopping them from providing the much-needed aid.

As other countries establish formal diplomatic ties with Afghanistan, such as the recent move by Russia to do so, India may follow suit. For the moment, they have shifted responsibility for that decision to the United Nations (UN). India has said publicly that if the UN were to formally recognize the Taliban, they would soon follow.

It is unknown how much of the aid will reach the people that need it. The Taliban have had corruption issues in the past regarding foreign assistance. India is doing what it can to help the Taliban avoid another humanitarian crisis.