He Xiangdong (2nd L), Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, as well as South Sudan government officials and WFP officials pose for a group photo during a handover ceremony of 2,048 tonnes of China-donated rice to WFP in Juba, capital of South Sudan, May 22, 2018. (Xinhua)
JUBA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The UN World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday hailed China's food assistance to vulnerable South Sudanese.
Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Assistant Executive Director for Operations Services, said more than 7 million people are currently food insecure in South Sudan and China's recent food aid would rescue thousands of hungry people from starving.
Guarnieri said the joint relief assistance project undertaken by the governments of South Sudan, China and the WFP is critical to end food insecurity in the East African nation.
She spoke in Juba during a handover ceremony of 2,048 tonnes of China-donated rice to the UN food agency. The donation is part of 8,800 tonnes of rice Beijing pledged to South Sudan in 2017 to fight severe food shortage.
"This kind of collaboration is one that provides essential support in a smart and engaging way for the people of South Sudan," said Guarnieri.
Adnan Khan, WFP Country Director and Representative in South Sudan, said the Chinese rice would help WFP provide emergency food aid to some 136,000 people for one month.
He Xiangdong, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, said the contribution is part of China's efforts to support the world's youngest country to overcome the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
"If we can do things together, we can save lives and we can be changing lives," said He.
Manase Lomole, Chairperson of South Sudan's relief agency, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), said cooperation between Juba and Beijing have been fruitful and should be strengthened to benefit the people of both countries.
"We are going to do everything at our capacity to ensure that this relationship is consolidated, strengthened and maintained," Lomole said.