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Madagascar receives more than 4,000 tonnes of emergency food aid from China

Updated: 06 20 , 2017 13:52
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TAMATAVE, Madagascar, June 19 -- More than 4,000 tonnes of emergency food aid from the Chinese government was received by Madagascar's president Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Monday at the port of Tamatave.

The food aid is hailed as the concretization of the commitments between the Chinese and Madagascar's governments signed on March 27, 2017 during the official visit of Madagascar's President Hery Rajaonarimampianina to China.

"Only two months after my meetings with the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, we are already here with a concrete act that is very symbolic because it is for the victims of drought and the victims of cyclone. It is a symbolic act because the will was realized in a concrete act in a very short time," Rajaonarimampianina said in his speech during the ceremony of the donation release.

The president listed some of China's contributions in his country, from infrastructures to the presence of Chinese medical team in Madagascar, and expressed his confidence in Madagascar attaining food self-sufficiency through the cultivation of Chinese hybrid rice.

"Following the Malagasy Government's call after the drought and the passage of cyclone Enawo to meet humanitarian needs of the affected population and to support Madagascar in responding to this alarming situation, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Rice food aid as an urgent donation worth 30 million yuan to the Malagasy government, or about 14 billion Ariary," the Chinese Ambassador to Madagascar Yang Xiaorong said during the donation ceremony.

Amid its large amount, "the gifts weighing about 4,300 tonnes is sent in three lots, including the first of 1,000 tonnes on June 3, 2017, the second batch of 2,100 tonnes docked on June 17, 2017, while the third about 1,200 tonnes is scheduled to arrive in August 2017," Yang added.

This gift of cereals reaffirms the solidarity of the Chinese people with the Malagasy people and their determination to overcome the difficulties encountered together, the ambassador said.

In close collaboration with the Madagascar's National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC), these cereals will be sent to the most needy households, both Madagascar's president and the Chinese Ambassador said.

In 2015 and 2016, China offered a cash donation of 300,000 U.S dollars and a donation of tents and blankets to help Madagascar strengthen resilience to natural disasters and provide relief to the most disadvantaged populations.

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