India stood in solidarity with Africa in fight against COVID-19: MoS MEA

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New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) India has stood in solidarity with Africa in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and gifted 150 tonnes of medical aid to 25 countries there, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said.

Under the 'Vaccine Maitri” initiative, India has supplied 24.7 million doses of Made in India COVID vaccines as grants, and commercial and COVAX supplies to 42 countries in Africa, he said in his remarks at the Summit on the Financing of African Economies on Tuesday.

'India and Africa have a unique, historical and intimate relationship. As you are aware, Mahatma Gandhi ji’s Satyagraha which helped India win independence, was born in South Africa. In contemporary times the relationship has transformed into a robust and layered development partnership, based on a consultative model of cooperation that responds to the needs of African countries,' he said.

At the third India-Africa Forum Summit held in October 2015, India offered USD 600 million in grant assistance as well as concessional loans worth USD 10 billion for development projects, Muraleedharan said, noting that more than USD 6.4 billion of these loans have already been sanctioned.

'Presently, there are over 89 projects across 41 countries in Africa that are being implemented with Indian concessional credit. Numerous digital innovations have emerged from the India-Africa partnership,' the minister said.

The e-Vidhya Bharti and e-Aarogya Bharti (e-VBAB) network project is a case in point, he added.

'Infrastructure development has seen power projects and dams in Sudan and Rwanda; water treatment in Tanzania; sugar factories in Ethiopia; and technology parks in Mozambique and Eswatini, amongst many others,' he said.

Muraleedharan asserted that India has also stood in solidarity with Africa in the fight against COVID-19 and has gifted 150 tonnes of medical aid to 25 countries.

'We are deeply conscious that the pandemic knows no borders and global economic recovery is contingent on collective action,' he said. PTI ASK RHL