Coffee, tea and a token for Covid heroes — why Kenya sent food aid to India

The Kenyan package included the country’s famed tea and coffee, besides groundnuts. The tea and coffee were meant to provide a ‘refreshing break’ to healthcare workers.

New Delhi: There was a food of indignant comments on Twitter last week as Kenya shipped aid to India in solidarity with its battle against Covid-19. Almost all these comments sought to invoke embarrassment about the fact that an African country was making a donation to India.

What was largely missed in this social media cacophony, however, was a note from the Kenyan High Commission that described the donation as a token to honour the “historic and special relation” between the two countries.

Healthcare workers in PPE suits escort Covid patients | Representational image | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

The Kenyan package for India included the country’s famed tea (6 tonnes) and coffee (3 tonnes), besides groundnuts. The tea and coffee, the high commission said, were meant to provide a “refreshing break” to the healthcare workers who have constantly been on Covid duty, with the intensity of the second wave leaving little scope for rest.

These workers, the note said, were “heroes and heroines”. 

“The Government of the Republic of Kenya took note that some countries expressed solidarity with India by donating medical equipment, oxygen and vaccines. Kenya, however, identified the special group – frontline health caregivers. These heroes and heroines are undertaking a noble duty of serving Covid-19 patients for very long hours or even days without any break,” the note stated Saturday.

“It is for this reason that the government of Kenya put together the package for the frontline health care givers to take a refreshing break with a cup of Kenyan tea or coffee.” 

In addition to expressing solidarity during this difficult time, the government of Kenya also thanked the Indian government for providing “excellent healthcare services to Kenyans for many years”.

The Kenyan package was received by Mr Homi Khusrokhan, Vice-Chairman of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) in Mumbai Friday. It is likely to be distributed across Maharashtra in the coming days.

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)


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