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China to Positively Respond to UN Flash Appeal for Quake-hit Haiti

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China said Friday that the Chinese government will positively respond to the flash appeal of the United Nations and "do what it can" to aid the government and people of Haiti, devastated by a strong earthquake on Tuesday.

Liu Zhenmin, the deputy Chinese permanent representative to the UN, told a UN flash appeal meeting to raise funds for Haiti that "the Chinese government will closely follow the developments of the disaster in Haiti, and positively respond to the flash appeal of the United Nations."

"China will do what it can to provide assistance and contribute to the efforts of the Haitian people to triumph over the disaster and rebuild their homes at an early date," Liu said.

Liu said China reacted immediately after the earthquake. Right after the quake on Tuesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao instructed the Chinese departments concerned to make speedy preparations for the relief efforts in Haiti. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi sent a message of condolences to his Haitian counterpart Alrich Nicolas.

On Wednesday, China sent a 60-member rescue team to Haiti, which started disaster relief immediately after its arrival, he said.

Following the US$1 million donation by the Red Cross Society of China, the Chinese government announced that it will provide 30 million yuan (some US$4.4 million) worth of humanitarian emergency supplies to Haiti.

The two charter planes loaded with the first batch of 90 tons of supplies, including medicine, tents, portable emergency lights, water purification equipment, food, drinking water and clothes, will depart for Haiti on Saturday, said Liu.

In addition, the Chinese peacekeeping police working for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) are also fully engaged in the relief efforts on the ground, he said.

The United Nations and its partners Friday appealed for US$562 million to help the victims of the deadly earthquake in Haiti, as the world body scales up its assistance in the wake of the disaster.

The US$562 million is intended to assist an estimated3 million affected people over a period of six months, with half of the funds being earmarked for emergency food aid, with the rest targeted at health, water, sanitation, nutrition, early recovery, emergency education and other key needs. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated US$25 million towards the appeal.

(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2009)


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