India offers $5 million assistance to quake-hit China

May 15th, 2008 - 6:47 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) India Thursday underlined its close ties with China and offered assistance worth $5 million to help victims of a massive earthquake that struck Sichuan province, killing over 15,000 people. “Keeping in view India’s close and good neighbourly ties with China, the government of India has decided to offer assistance of $5 million to China for its relief activities for the victims of the earthquake,” the external affairs ministry announced here.

“This amount would be utilized for relief material, including blankets, tents, sleeping bags, and medicines,” the ministry said.

President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee have already sent messages of condolence to the government and people of China.

India’s offer of assistance came a couple of days after Beijing expressed its willingness to accept international aid to handle relief measures.

Early this week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and expressed India’s grief with the quake-hit “brethren of China” and offered assistance to deal with the situation.

Besides India, the United Nations, the US, Australia, Japan, Britain and Belgium are among those that have offered help to China.

The quake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, struck China’s south-western province of Sichuan Monday, killing over 15,000 people and rendering thousands homeless.

The survivors desperately need medical help, food and water, according to Xinhua news agency.

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