LILONGWE, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- China has donated about 6,600 metric tons of Chinese rice to Malawi in response to calls for emergency food assistance for 6.5 million starving Malawians.
Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Wang Shiting, made the symbolic donation to Malawi President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in the capital, Lilongwe on Thursday.
Wang said the Chinese government understood that people in Malawi were in dire need of food following poor rain patterns over the past growing season, hence the donation.
"The Chinese government has declared that China would offer emergency food assistance worth 7 billion Kwacha (about 9.4 milion U.S dollars)," said the ambassador.
Wang said that 2,000 tonnes of the rice had already arrived in Malawi, with the second and third shipments arriving in ten days' time and before the end of the month respectively.
The Ambassador further said his government was very proud to be among the first development partners to deliver on the promise of food assistance but he appealed for more support from other partners.
Wang further said China had put agriculture cooperation as priority on China-Malawi relations and he pledged further support in agricultural projects in Malawi.
Malawi President said the donated rice would go a long way in supporting Malawians badly affected by hunger.
The Chinese support comes three weeks after the Acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNAIDS Country Director, Amakobe Sande, called upon development partners who had made food aid commitments to Malawi to honor their pledges in time for easy logistic arrangements.