China to send food aid to Africa

August 20th, 2011 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) China will send food to famine-hit African countries later this month as part of a 90 million yuan ($14 million) emergency food aid announced by the government last month, the commerce ministry said.

The cargo will be shipped from the port of Tianjin, said Yu Yingfu, deputy director general of the aid department in the ministry.

“Measures have been taken to ensure that the food aid could be transferred to Africa at the earliest possible time and we will continue following the situation in the drought-stricken areas and be ready for further aid,” China Daily Saturday quoted Yu as saying.

Several northeastern African countries are reeling under the worst drought in 60 years. Some countries received less than five percent of rain this year, compared to their normal annual average, while food production dropped alarmingly, causing widespread famine.

Over 12.4 million people in countries such as Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are affected, according to the UN, and tens of thousands of people have already died.

On July 27, the Chinese government announced emergency food aid of 90 million yuan ($14 million).

On Monday, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao announced additional aid of 353 million yuan to northeastern African countries.

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