Context: India handed over relief material and stores to the authorities of Madagascar on 1st February, as part of operation vanilla
As the first respondent, Indian Navy Ship Airavat, which was en-route to Seychelles, was diverted to Madagascar for rendering assistance after the island nation was lashed with cyclone causing heavy flooding and landslides leading to massive loss of life and property.
- ‘Operation Vanilla’ has been launched to provide assistance to the affected population of Madagascar post devastation caused by Cyclone Diane.
- INS 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.
- The Medical Team from the ship is holding a medical camp at Antsiranana from 01 to 02 February 2020 in coordination with local authorities, said Navy.
- Indian Navy was the first international respondent to this evolving humanitarian crisis in Madagascar.
- INS Airavat is an amphibious assault ship and as part of the mission-based deployment has Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) as part of its missions and carries relief material in the form of HADR bricks.
- This enables ships on deployment to respond rapidly to any emergent situation.
- INS Airavatwas built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers in Kolkata at Yard 3016.
- She began sea trials in July 2008 after completing basin trials in May.
- She was commissioned at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam on 19 May 2009
- She is named for the mount of god Indra, the elephant Airvata, as mentioned in the Rigveda.
- India’s assistance to Madagascar is in consonance with Indian Navy’s Foreign Cooperation initiatives in line with India’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.
- There are about 15,000 persons of India origin in Madagascar, including approximately 2500 Indian passport holders.
INDIA AND MADAGASCAR
- In March 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind became the first Indian President to visit Madagascar.
- India and Madagascar signed a defence cooperation agreement during the visit of the Indian President.
- Madagascar is also a member of inter-governmental organisation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
INDIAN OCEAN RIM ASSOCIATION
- The Indian Ocean Rim Association(IORA), formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organisation consisting of 22 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
- The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
- It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.
- The Coordinating Secretariat of IORA is located at Ebene, Mauritius