UN Promises US$10 Mln to Quake-hit Chile
Adjust font size:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) and Chile's President Michelle Bachelet attend a news conference in Santiago, capital of Chile, March 5, 2010. Ban Ki-moon on Friday pledged US$10 million aid from the Central Emergency Fund of the United Nations to the quake-hit Chile. [Xinhua]
"The UN will authorize US$10 million from a central emergency response fund," Ban told journalists. "We will also establish a working group to look at Chile's most urgent needs," he said.
During the same conference, Bachelet said that she welcomed 2 million dollars' worth emergency material from China on an early Friday.
"This is a gesture that shows the excellence of the links we have had with China," Bachelet told the press conference in response to a question from Xinhua. "It has been the same with the free trade agreement and the cultural exchanges we have had," she added.
Chile experienced an earthquake measuring 8.8 magnitude on the Richter scale six days ago, which killed 279 people, at the last official count, but which may prove to have killed more than 1,000 once all the dead have been confirmed.
Chinese officials said Friday's flight represented the furthest geographical distance that the nation had sent aid and the furthest geographical distance from which Chile had received assistance. It is the first time China has sent a cargo plane to South America carrying material alone.
"It is not easy to cross the world," Bachelet told media. This really expresses the authentic willingness to support Chile, and " we are very grateful," she added.
Chile has received aid from 86 nations and 16 non-government organizations. Bachelet also highlighted aid from Bolivia, sent by both Chileans living there and Bolivia's government, even though the two nation's have not had diplomatic relations since the mid- 1980s. Ban said that 14 UN agencies are taking part in such efforts.
Ban and Bachelet said that they had already begun working with Sebastian Pinera, who will take over Chile's presidency on March 11.
(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2010)