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IOM Offers Support to China After Earthquake

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has expressed its support to China after a strong earthquake hit the country's southwest Sichuan Province.

"We share your grief and stand side by side with you at this very difficult time," said Brunson McKinley, director general of the Geneva-based organization, in a letter to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

"My thoughts and those of my colleagues are with all those who have suffered in the earthquake," McKinley said in the letter dated May 15.

"In supporting your relief efforts, I have authorized an immediate IOM contribution of US$50,000," he said.

"We here, as well as our Liaison Office in China, remain available to discuss any possible further assistance we might be able to provide in support of your ongoing rescue and relief activities," he added.

So far more than 22,000 people have been killed in the 7.8- magnitude earthquake, which occurred on Monday, according to the emergency response office of the Chinese State Council.

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2008)

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