Photo taken on March 19, 2017 shows a little girl waiting to get water at an Internal Displaced Person (IDP) camp in Doolow, a border town with Ethiopia, Somalia. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
ADDIS ABABA, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has provided life-saving nutrition assistance worth 8 million U.S. dollars to support the UN World Food Program's (WFP) response in drought-hit Ethiopia.
The donation followed another 10-million-dollar grant to the WFP on Wednesday to bolster its humanitarian work in drought-stricken Somalia where more than 6 million people are food insecure.
The latest contribution from China will enable the WFP to provide specialized treatment for more than 277,000 moderately malnourished children and women due to the ongoing drought that affected parts of the east African country.
La Yifan, the Chinese Ambassador in Ethiopia, said during the hand-over ceremony on Thursday that China is a friendly country that provides support to its best ability.
"We are a developing country, but we obliged to provide assistance to other countries through the World Food Program," he said.
The ambassador appreciated efforts made by the Ethiopian government to reach out the emergency needs of its drought affected citizens.
He also called on the international community to fulfill the commitments made in the fight against climate change, as a sustainable solution to minimize the occurrence of natural disasters such as the ongoing drought that affected parts of the Horn of African region.
John Aylieff, WFP Ethiopia Representative and Country Director, appreciated China's contribution to support people in drought-affected Ethiopia, saying the support has come at a crucial moment as the East African country endures the worst drought in 50 years.
"While the government did so much itself, support from the international community was needed. It was at this moment that China came forward," he said.
Tadesse Bekele, Advisor at Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management, also appreciated the contribution from China, saying that "China is very generous to Ethiopia."
"I am very much delighted that this supplementary food assistance will help those desperate people, and we will be able to save the lives of children and lactating mothers," he said.
According to Tadesse, the Ethiopian government is working on proactive measures to minimize the effect of the drought in its effort to save the lives of millions of people.
The Government of Ethiopia and its humanitarian partners on January this year have officially launched the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for 2017, looking for 948 million U.S. dollars to reach out to 5.6 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance.
China on Wednesday also granted the WFP 10 million U.S. dollars to bolster its humanitarian work in drought-stricken Somalia where more than 6 million people are food insecure.
WFP Country Director Laurent Bukera said the funds will allow the UN food agency to deploy emergency humanitarian assistance to more than 200,000 people.
"This grant will support Somalis and will allow WFP to deploy emergency assistance to more than 200,000 for probably up to four months assistance," Bukera said.
China also contributed 2 million U.S. dollars to WFP emergency response last year that helped it support close to 50,000 children and mothers to address malnutrition in the country, Bukera said.
The Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian hoped Somalia will overcome the natural disasters and rebuild their home, saying Beijing has long term support for Somalia.
"China and Somalia enjoy long-term friendship. The diplomatic ties between brotherly states began in December in 1960, but relations between the two countries were there six hundred years ago," he said, adding China had carried out 89 projects including Benadir hospital, National Theater and Stadium Mogadishu between 1960 and 1991.