Whilst mission deployed in the Southern Indian Ocean, Indian Naval Ship Airavat was diverted on 26 January 2020 to render assistance to the citizens of Madagascar who have been affected by the devastation caused by Cyclone Diane. Airavat is undertaking this Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission as part of ‘Operation Vanilla’ launched by the Indian Navy, which is the first international respondent to this evolving humanitarian crisis in Madagascar.
As part of ‘Op Vanilla’ and on behalf of the Government of India, Shri Abhay Kumar, Ambassador of India to Madagascar and Commander Sunil Sankar, Commanding Officer Airavat handed over urgently needed relief material comprising disaster relief stores, tents, blankets, clothing, food and medicines on 01 February 2020 to local government authorities in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Republic of Madagascar, His Excellency Christian Lois Ntsay. The Medical Team from the ship will also hold a medical camp at Antsiranana from 01 to 02 February 2020 in coordination with local authorities.
This timely assistance provided by the Government of India in the aftermath of Cyclone Diane and the professionalism displayed by the Indian Navy has been greatly appreciated by the local authorities and will help foster India’s relationship with Madagascar.