Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Vanilla’ in support of the national disaster in flood-hit Madagascar and diverted a large amphibious ship to provide assistance.
- Madagascar has been hit by a cyclone and there has been heavy flooding and landslips since the last week of January causing loss of lives and displacement of a number of people.
- As the first respondent, it has been decided to immediately divert INS Airavat, en route to Seychelles, to Madagascar
- With the onboard stores, the ship could provide clothing, emergency food, temporary shelters, medical assistance, carry out transportation and evacuation of personnel using four large and two medium-sized boats, diving and communication assistance
- Of late, the Indian Navy has been the first responder for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indian Ocean Region.
- 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.
- 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)’.
- Madagascar is also a member of inter-governmental organization Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
About the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
- It is an inter-governmental organisation which was established on 7 March 1997
- It is aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 22 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners.
- IORA’s apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) which meets annually.