September 6, 2017 – China and Ethiopia signed an emergency humanitarian food aid agreement where China will provide wheat worth 15 million U.S. dollars to support Ethiopians affected by drought. According to a press statement from the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, Liu Tao, Chargé d’Affaires at the Chinese Embassy, and Abraham Tekeste, Ethiopian Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, have signed the agreement.
The Chinese government has long committed itself to consolidating bilateral cooperation with and expanding support for Ethiopia, said Liu. “With the newly offered food aid to Ethiopia, the Chinese government is determined to help tackle food security threats to the nation that have emerged in 2017, and is ready to extend further helping hands when necessary,” he said.
According to the latest UN statistics, 8.5 million of people require emergency food assistance between August and December 2017, noted the statement. The statement recalled that Ethiopia, in 2016, suffered from the worst El Nino-induced drought in the past half century, which severely aggravated the already dire situation caused by failed rains in 2015, and the Ethiopian government had responded swiftly and effectively.
Reiterating China’s long-standing friendship with Ethiopia, the statement said that the Chinese government has been by the side of the Ethiopian government and people ever since the onset of this round of climate disasters.
In November 2015, Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce of China, expressed profound concern over the situation in Ethiopia during his visit to Ethiopia and signed a food aid agreement, under which 10,535 tonnes of wheat was delivered to Ethiopia in April 2016.
In the same year, in a bid to further help relief efforts, the Chinese government donated 8 million dollars to World Food Program (WFP), providing emergency humanitarian food assistance to Ethiopian people.
In May 2017, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attended the Belt and Road Summit Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing, China. On the occasion, leaders of the two countries announced to upgrade bilateral relations between China and Ethiopia to Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership.
“Looking into the future, the Chinese government, partnering with the Ethiopian government, will spare no effort to be of help whenever Ethiopian people is in need, jointly charting the course for the further enhancement of their enduring friendship,” said the statement.
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