India despatches rice, medicines to flood-hit Myanmar

New Delhi/Nay Pyi Taw, Aug 6 (IANS) Responding to Myanmar’s request for help following heavy flooding and landslides, India has despatched emergency relief supplies, including rice and medicines, to the neighbouring country.

Indian Air Force aircraft are delivering supplies to Kalay and Mandalay and are to supply other affected areas as advised by the Myanmar authorities.

The operation is being conducted by the external affairs ministry in coordination with the Myanmar government, and the home, health and the defence ministries, the Indian Air Force, the Indian embassy in Yangon and the Consulate of India in Mandalay.

The operation will be completed in the next 2-3 days, an official statement said.

Myanmar has been severely affected by Cyclone Komen, which has led to widespread floods and landslides in that country. Around 250,000 people have been affected and over 500,000 acres of farmland destroyed.

On July 31, President Thein Sein declared Chin and Rakhine states and Magway and Sagaing regions as “natural disaster zones” requiring emergency assistance.

On August 4, the Myanmar government welcomed international assistance for the flood response.

The Indian government “was specifically requested to send emergency supplies of rice and medicines by air to locations that are currently hard to reach through other means”, said the statement.

The Indian embassy was in close touch with the Myanmar authorities and international organisations.

The statement said India greatly values its special relationship with Myanmar and will stand by the people of Myanmar in this hour of crisis.

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