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China contributes $6 Million to WFP to fight Ebola

CCTV.com

10-20-2014 19:45 BJT

Full coverage: Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

China has contributed $6 million dollars to the United Nations World Food Program’s emergency operation. The funds will help 1.3 million people impacted by the Ebola virus outbreak in the three most-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The goal is to prevent a health crisis from becoming a food crisis. 

China and the UN World Food Program have held a press conference on the latest joint efforts in the battle against Ebola.

Both sides said support for West African countries would continue.

"Since the outbreak of Ebola in West African countries in early 2014, the Chinese government responded immediately by providing Ebola affected countries with three batches of humanitarian aid worth 230 million RMB, including protective kits, food aid, cash donations, and the deployment of medical experts," said Liu Junfeng, deputy director general of Department of Aid to Foreign Countries of Ministry of Commerce.

"The world food program and people of West Africa are especially thankful to this contribution of six million dollars from China. This substantial and timely contribution will be divided equally between the three countries, enabling WFP to purchase vital food supplies - mainly rice, lentils or yellow peas, and blended fortified cereals - for emergency rations for more than 300,000 people for one month, as well as specialised nutrition products to help prevent malnutrition," said Brett Rierson, representative of WFP China.

Ambassadors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have expressed their gratitude to the efforts made by China and the WFP.

The WFP’s Goodwill Ambassador Li Ning also attended the conference, calling for a stronger response and more action from the global community.

The WFP has been providing food to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and is also ensuring that aid workers and critical supplies reach affected areas.

But so far the assistance has been far from enough, as fears grow that the outbreak could also lead to an even greater calamity of mass food shortages across the region, which could potentially affect millions of people.

The number of lives the Ebola virus has taken is continuing to climb with no end in sight. The epidemic is now posing other risks and non-traditional security challenges to the whole world. So it’s up to the international community to coordinate a truly global response to ensure this outbreak doesn’t lead to further disasters. 

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