Crippled by natural disasters, China and Myanmar have sought humanitarian assistance from India. In a prompt response, India has pledged aid worth some $5 million for China devastated by an earthquake that till last count had claimed over 50,000 lives.
China has made a specific request for relief material including tents, sleeping bags, generators, water purifiers, stretchers, cutting machines, winches and medicines. Defence ministry sources said on Thursday that the Indian Air Force will be flying a heavy-lift IL-76 aircraft from New Delhi to Chengdu on Saturday with the first installment of relief supplies comprising tents and blankets weighing some 36 tonnes.
IAF aircraft will have to undertake at least six sorties in the coming week to deliver the relief material sought by China, with the second aircraft scheduled to fly from Kanpur on Tuesday.
After refusing international assistance, the cyclone-hit Myanmar has finally requested India to provide medical aid including doctors, paramedics and medicine stocks. India will become the second country after Thailand to dispatch medical teams to Myanmar, where a devastating cyclone has killed over 66,000 people and left millions homeless.