The Forgotten Role of India: Financial Aids to Muslim Nations—Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria


India’s contributions have been instrumental in fostering positive relations and providing critical support to those in need

India’s substantial financial aid to Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Palestine, and Syria has been a quiet but impactful endeavor that deserves recognition. While India’s humanitarian assistance to these nations may not always make headlines, it has played a vital role in alleviating suffering and fostering development in these regions.

India’s Contribution to Afghanistan

India’s commitment to Afghanistan has been unwavering. Over the years, India has provided more than $3 billion in aid to the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This support has been instrumental in various sectors, ranging from infrastructure to healthcare and education.

One of the noteworthy projects is the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, also known as the Salma Dam. Construction of this dam began in 1976 but faced interruptions due to political instability.

In 2014, after Narendra Modi assumed Prime Minister office, the work on the project resumed, and the dam was inaugurated in 2016. India’s financial contribution to this critical infrastructure project amounted to nearly $290-300 million.

Moreover, India’s pledge of $500 million to Afghanistan in addition to its existing commitment of $1.5 billion in May 2011 significantly contributed to goodwill between the two nations.

In June 2022, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs reaffirmed its commitment to assisting Afghanistan in its time of need. India dispatched shipments of humanitarian aid, including wheat, medicines, COVID vaccines, and winter clothing, to organizations like the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital in Kabul and UN specialized agencies.

India also provided one million doses of the India-made COVAXIN to Iran for Afghan refugees and supplied UNICEF with polio vaccines and essential medicines.

India’s Support for Syria and Palestine

In 2015, the Modi Government took proactive steps to aid nations grappling with humanitarian crises. India donated £5 million to Jordan to assist with the Syrian refugee crisis, demonstrating its commitment to addressing regional challenges.

Additionally, in the same year, the Modi Government extended financial aid to Palestine, providing a total of $10 million. Of this, $4 million was allocated for project assistance to aid in the reconstruction of Gaza, and $5 million was provided as budgetary support.

India’s financial and humanitarian assistance to these Muslim nations underscores its dedication to international cooperation and its commitment to helping countries in distress. Despite often operating under the radar, India’s contributions have been instrumental in fostering positive relations and providing critical support to those in need.

As India continues to engage with these countries, its historical and civilizational ties with the people of Afghanistan, Palestine, and Syria will guide its approach, reinforcing the importance of compassionate diplomacy and cooperation on the global stage.

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