Rice to Syria from Bengal

Kolkata, May 11: Four hundred and fifty tonnes of rice is being sent from Burdwan district in West Bengal to strife-torn Syria to provide succor to hundreds of families in the west Asian nation.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sourced the relief material for distribution to beneficiaries across different Syrian cities where people are facing extremely difficult conditions because of the ongoing armed conflict.

ICRC’s Adebayo Olowo-Ake said Burdwan was chosen for supplying the rice because it offered the best ratio in terms of quality, price and delivery time.

“In 2015, ICRC bought CHF 16.8 million (Rs 95 crore) worth of rice on a global level. In India, the procurement of 450 MT in 2016 was the first time we would obtain such in the country. It was also to help us determine the compliance of suppliers with our quality control and social standards,” he told PTI.

It is distributed along with some food parcels to cover the full needs of a family for a month, he said.

Officials said the Indian market is well positioned to conveniently supply items to the Middle East and African countries, many of which are ICRC’s biggest operations.

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