ADDIS ABABA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The government of China on Tuesday provided 6 million U.S. dollars financial support to the United Nations World Food Program's (WFP) emergency response in Ethiopia that targets drought-hit and refugee populations in Ethiopia.
The latest financial support is the fourth round emergency aid provided by the Chinese government as the East African country embarked on assisting millions of drought-affected people and hundreds of thousands of refugees from its neighboring countries.
Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian, said the financial donation was made in a bid to show China's solidarity as Ethiopia strives to mitigate the refugee influx from neighboring countries.
"We appreciate Ethiopia's effort in taking refugees as a responsible country," Tan said, adding that "the international community should not be bystanders and China is not."
"China has come forward to demonstrate our solidarity with the Ethiopian people. A friend in need is a friend indeed," Tan added.
An estimated 7.9 million people in Ethiopia are currently in need of emergency food assistance, while Ethiopia also hosts more than 900,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, and Sudan.
Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of Ethiopia National Disaster Risk Management Commission, said that the support is "an indication of solidarity from the Chinese government and people to Ethiopia."
"As long as we are living with adverse effects of climate change, we need more support from China, not only in the humanitarian intervention part but also in resilience building, especially in the livestock, agriculture, education, water and sanitation and other sectors," Kassa added.
With the 6 million U.S. dollars support from China, WFP has planned to support 350,000 people living either in refugee camps or in drought-affected communities for two months with over 4,000 metric tons of rice and 800 tons of vegetable oil, it was noted.
Samir Wanmali, WFP's Acting Country Director in Ethiopia, also called it a "very generous support from China."
"China is a very important partner for the Ethiopian government and it's also a very important partner for WFP," he said. "We are very proud to be part of a partnership that is a bigger partnership between the two very important countries in the world."
WFP and the UN refugee agency UNHCR have recently appealed for 80 million U.S. dollars to provide food assistance for refugees located in Ethiopia, saying that the amount of food that refugees receive was cut by 20 percent last year below the 2,100 kilo calories per day required to sustain the average person.