India News

Citing own robust system, India turns down UN supply chain help: Spokesperson

United Nations, April 28

India has turned down the UN’s offer of assistance from its integrated supply chain saying it has its own “robust” system to manage the logistics of getting material for dealing with the Covid surge, according to a UN spokesperson.

“We offered the assistance of our integrated supply chain if it was required. We’ve been told at this point that it’s not needed because India has a reasonably robust system to deal with this.  But our offer stands, and we’re willing to help in whatever way we can,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Tuesday.

The Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti has been in touch with India’s Permanent Representative TS Tirumurti, and other UN staffers have also been in touch with Indian officials in New York and in India, he said.

“Our people who deal with operational and logistical issues are willing to help, if we’re needed, and we’re in touch with our counterparts in India to see whether that will be useful,” Haq added.

He said there had been only a “low level” of cases among the international and local UN staff in India and the UN was taking care of them so that they didn’t add to the Indian health system’s pressure.

UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir has called for support to India, “a country which did so much to ensure the distribution of Covid vaccines to vulnerable countries,” according to his spokesperson Brenden Varma.

Bozkir said his thoughts are “with the Indian government and people” and “it is now time for the world to extend aid to India”.

While the UN is not involved with the immediate issues of the pandemic’s surge, Haq said  it had been helping India deal with the fallout of the Covid pandemic on a long-term basis.