India on Friday handed over to Lebanon 58 metric tonnes of emergency humanitarian aid, including crucial medical and food supplies, in the wake of the deadly explosion that ravaged the Lebanese capital of Beirut last week.
"India demonstrates solidarity with the people of Lebanon in the aftermath of the tragic explosions in Beirut. 58 MT of emergency humanitarian aid, including crucial medical and food supplies, is on its way to Beirut in IAF C17 aircraft," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Later, at a media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in response to the massive explosion in Beirut on August 4, India had offered its assistance to Lebanon and sought from them an assessment of their requirement.
"Based on this, today morning an Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft was deployed to deliver 58 MT of emergency humanitarian aid on behalf of the Government of India to Lebanon," he said.
The aircraft landed in Beirut a few hours back and the aid has been handed over by the Indian Ambassador there to senior officials of the Lebanese Armed Forces who are coordinating all the relief efforts, Srivastava said.
The aid contains emergency medical supplies, wheat flour, sugar and pulses, and also relief materials like blankets, dignity kits and sleeping mats, which are required as a large number of people have been rendered homeless, he said.
In light of the spike in the COVID-19 cases in Lebanon, the Indian government has also separately sent Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), including surgical gloves and surgical gowns, to Lebanon, he said, adding that the consignment is expected to reach Beirut in the coming days.
The blast, which killed more than 170 people, wounded thousands and left tens of thousands homeless, is believed to have been caused when a fire touched off a stockpile of 2,750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate, according to reports.