Pakistan has delivered food aid to Niger and Benin as part of its humanitarian assistance programme. Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Pakistan Navy

Islamabad: Pakistan has sent a shipment of food and relief assistance for the people of the African region as part of humanitarian aid and disaster relief mission.

Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Nasr delivered food aid to the people of two West African countries, Niger and Benin, to assist the vulnerable population affected by natural disasters in African countries. At least 100 metric tonnes of rice was delivered to Niger during the deployment. Last month, Pakistan also extended humanitarian food support to the people of Djibouti and Sudan.

“The ongoing deployment of Pakistan Navy ship to African region is aimed at further strengthening the bonds of friendship with African countries,” an official statement said. The officials of Niger and Benin thanked the government and people of Pakistan as well as the Pakistan Navy for the kind gesture of offering humanitarian assistance.

High-level interactions

At the Cotonou Port of Benin, PNS Nasr was received by the Ambassador of Pakistan to Niger, Ahmed Ali Sirohey, along with Pakistan’s honorary consular and defence attaché and other navy officials. Top government and military officials of Niger and Benin including deputy minister for humanitarian assistance and disaster management of Niger, deputy director of Benin Presidency Office, ambassador of Niger at Benin, general secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Benin also attended the event.

During the high-level interactions, the officials discussed matters of mutual interest and ways to enhance bilateral cooperation. Pakistan’s mission commander and commanding officer of PNS Nasr conveyed sincere regards from Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi to the people of visiting countries.

Pakistan Navy sent its humanitarian aid ship to Africa in line with the government’s ‘Engage Africa’ policy that seeks to enhance bilateral relations and to explore new avenues of cooperation with African countries. The country also plans to open new embassies in the region to strengthen the economic partnership between Pakistan and Africa.