Malaysia to donate 1.6m doses of vaccine to Afghanistan

pic by BERNAMA

THE government is in discussion with the Afghanistan government to provide 1.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the latter.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (picture) said Malaysia have provided various assistance to Afghanistan which includes donation sent via humanitarian missions and international conferences.

Among the recent donations sent out by Malaysia to Afghanistan include items worth nearly RM1 million in a trip organised by the Global Peace Mission which departed on Feb 22, 2022.

“Besides, the government is also in discussion with the authorities in Afghanistan to provide 1.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to them,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He was responding to a question from Lembah Pantai MP Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil who queried on the amount that had been donated by Malaysia to Afghanistan amid the Taliban-led administration.

Kamarudin also said that Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah had attended the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) EGM on Dec 19, 2021, to discuss about Afghanistan with his counterparts.

During the meeting, Malaysia had brought forward its stance which included humanitarian aid and nation development efforts for Afghanistan which must be spearheaded, owned and controlled by Afghanistan.

He added that Malaysia had also urged other nations to avoid the complete downfall of Afghanistan’s economy and ramp up efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the nation.

“All of the OIC nations that attended the meeting had reached a consensus to immediately resolve the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and will take efforts to prevent its economy from collapsing.

“OIC members continued to urge the temporary government in Afghanistan to protect its human rights and the wellbeing of its citizens while widening women’s access to occupation and education,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kamarudin added that Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s visit to the Middle East namely Doha, Qatar, from Jan 31 until Feb 4, 2022, did not mean that Malaysia recognises the Afghan government.

He said the engagement efforts were essential to ensure Afghanistan does not experience socio-economic and humanitarian fallout.

He noted that the recognition of the Afghan government can take place via two channels namely as a member of OIC, Malaysia can take into account the stand taken within the organisation towards the issue of recognition in Afghanistan.

Malaysia can also recognise the Afghan government together with like-minded nations after the government has complied with all the terms that have been outlined which include for it to be an inclusive nation and one that protects women’s and minorities’ rights.

“In its efforts to help rebuild Afghanistan, Malaysia will continue to play a role in its own way. For example, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has been a facilitator for Malaysian NGOs to carry out humanitarian aid missions in Afghanistan, which were done via several diplomatic missions abroad.

“Malaysia is ready to work with international communities for the reconstruction of Afghanistan when the situation in Afghanistan allows,” he added.