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China to Provide Aid to Cuba After Hurricanes

China will provide a batch of construction materials to Cuba to help it repair houses damaged by hurricanes "Gustav" and "Ike", according to an agreement signed Friday by the two sides.

The agreement was inked on Friday by Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Zhao Rongxian and Cuban Foreign Investments and Economic Collaboration Minister Marta Lomas.

The batch of galvanized zinc tile, used to repair roofs, was worth some 11 million yuan (US$1.6 million).

Hurricanes "Gustav" and "Ike", which lashed the Caribbean island country on August 30 and September 8 respectively, have resulted in an economic loss of US$5 billion.

Some 500,000 houses, 30 percent of the country's harvest and the civil infrastructure were also destroyed by the hurricanes.

Following the disasters, the Chinese government has provided aid to Cuba twice, with a total value of US$1.3 million.

(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2008)

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