China offers 4th batch of aid to Africa in anti-Ebola efforts
Beijing - XINHUA
Since the Ebola outbreak in April, China has offered four batches of aid to West African countries, which has not only been a makeshift emergency relief, but also sought to improve those countries' ability in crisis response and state governance.
The record-breaking assistance, worth 122 million U.S. dollars, demonstrated China's sincerity and selflessness with Africa and its good image as a responsible major power.
In addition to providing funds and food, China has also provided disease prevention materials, such as protective clothes and goggles, sprayers, gauze masks, body thermometers as well as temperature monitors.
China has also set up laboratories and holding centers, and sent expert groups and medical teams to the affected countries.
Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has recalled that China had supported the country both in cash and experts in the fight against the disease, saying the Chinese have "come at a time when we needed them most."
"You (China) have demonstrated to us that you are our special friends", he noted.
He thanked the government and people of China for their support and assistance his country at the time of need.
Sierra Leone's Health Minister Abu Bakarr Fofanah has also expressed big thanks to the Chinese, noting that they have been steadfast in their support.
He hailed the Chinese aid to fight Ebola as "phenomenal," saying the Chinese medical staff have made "a great sacrifice."
When Koroma appealed for international aid, Chinese President Xi Jinping was one of the first leaders to have made the response, he recalled
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that China was the first country sending relief materials by special plane to her country, and that China's multiple rounds of timely aid has helped Liberia fight the deadly epidemic.
Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia's Assistant Minister of Health and Social Welfare, also said "in the fight against Ebola, China strongly supported Liberian government. We appreciated that."
Cote d'Ivoire's Foreign Minister Charles Koffi Diby expressed gratitude on Wednesday for China's aid in cash and in kind to Western African countries, including Cote d'Ivoire.
He added that China's assistance has greatly strengthened the countries' capacity to fight the disease and lifted African people's confidence in winning the battle against the virus.
Diby said China's sincere, rapid and effective assistance is an important reason that his country has yet to be hit by Ebola.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan has expressed her appreciation for China's help with the Ebola fight in West Africa, hailing Chinese medical teams' dedication to providing medical treatment to patients infected with Ebola or other diseases after medical workers from some other countries withdrew from West Africa.
China's aid has effectively shored up the fight against Ebola in the affected areas and boosted the confidence of the people there in tackling the epidemic, said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, noting that the UN is ready to keep close communication and cooperation with China on this issue.
An official from the UN World Food Programme has said that China's assistance came at "this very difficult time when we need to reverse Ebola's advance."
China was among the first governments to extend assistance to West Africa, including sending medical experts to Sierra Leone, he said.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also thanked China for sending medical responders to the three worst-affected countries.
It was of significance that China responded for the first time to the appeal for assistance to the worst-affected countries, World Bank's chief news officer in Africa said.
As of the end of October, the WHO had declared a total of 13,540 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and 4,941 deaths, as well as four confirmed cases in the United States with one death and one confirmed patient, respectively, in Spain and Mali.