JUBA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Thursday donated about 9,660 tonnes of rice to South Sudan to assist civilians at risk of starvation in the world's youngest nation, which is in the process of reconstruction after nearly five years of civil strife.
Manasseh Lomole, chairperson of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, said the first batch of Chinese rice has already arrived in the capital Juba and the remainder will be delivered later.
The food donation will be channelled to returnees, internally displaced people and survivors of floods and drought.
Lomole appreciated the Chinese support to South Sudan as the country is grappling with recurrent drought.
"To the people of China, and on behalf of the people of South Sudan, I want to say thank you," said Lomole.
He called on the Chinese government to move beyond food aid and support the development of South Sudan.
"We want you to help us in developing our agriculture sector so that we can be able to feed ourselves in the near future," he added.
He Xiangdong, the Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, said the donation was part of China's efforts to boost stability in South Sudan.
"This is a gift from the people of China to our brothers and sisters here in South Sudan. We are very confident that in the future, not very long from now, the people of South Sudan will be able to stand on their own feet," said He.