Bengaluru: India will send a consignment of 1000 metric tons of rice and 100,000 tablets of Hydroxychloroquine on March 3 to Antananarivo after Madagascar's government made an urgent appeal for international solidarity and assistance to deal with the severe drought in the southern parts of the country.

The humanitarian assistance will be delivered on-board Indian naval ship Jalashwa and is expected to reach the Port of Ehoala in Madagascar between March 21-24.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a phone call with his counterpart Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba AS Oliva and informed him about India's assistance to Madagascar. 

During the phone conversation, Jaishankar recalled the excellent bilateral ties of friendship between the two countries and that India has always been among the first responders when it comes to assisting the people of Madagascar. 

India's assistance to Madagascar in past

In September 2018, a consignment of 1000 metric tons of rice was delivered on-board an Indian naval vessel to Madagascar. 

Indian Navy was the first to respond when Cyclone Diane struck Madagascar and prompt assistance was delivered under Operation Vanilla by INS Airavat in January 2020. 

In March 2020, INS Shardul visited the port of Antisiranana and delivered 600 tons of rice as HADR assistance to Madagascar from India for dealing with heavy floods in the northern region of Madagascar. 

Indi also assured them that as a maritime neighbour across the Indian Ocean, the government and people of Madagascar can always count on the support and solidarity of the government and people of India.

INS Jalashwa 

Besides carrying rice and medical supplies, INS Jalashwa will also have on-board an Indian naval training team that is being deployed in Madagascar for capacity building and training of the Malagasy Special Forces for two weeks.

INS Jalashwa will also call Port Anjouan in the Republic of Comoros where it will deliver a consignment of 1000 metric tons of Indian rice. 

Mission SAGAR

The supplies of food assistance and support for capacity building to the friendly countries of Madagascar and Comoros is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of SAGAR and India's time-tested role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region, the External Affairs Ministry said. 

Amid the worldwide pandemic last year, Mission SAGAR was launched on May 10 by India to deliver Covid-19 related assistance to the countries in the Indian Ocean Littoral states.