The Red Cross Society of China has launched a fund to boost humanitarian activities and cooperation in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.[Special Coverage]
Wang Ping, vice-president of the society, said the Belt and Road Fraternity Fund has raised 70 million yuan ($10.14 million), most of which has been donated by Chinese enterprises.
"The money will fund Red Cross humanitarian projects in Belt and Road countries and help set up a channel for Chinese businesses to perform humanitarian duties," he said.
As the country's largest humanitarian organization, the society is positioned as an important platform for boosting people-to-people exchanges, according to Wang.
The China Red Cross established an emergency care center in Pakistan's Gwadar Port on Sunday alongside its local counterpart, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. Wang described it as the first project of the Belt and Road Fraternity Fund.
The center will help meet medical demands from along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a regional partnership under the Belt and Road Initiative.
As an international humanitarian organization, the society is important for fundraising and social mobilization, Wang said, adding that it "helps to increase humanitarian resources and boost communication and cooperation at the grassroots level".
Humanitarian threats such as military conflicts, natural disasters and uneven socioeconomic development are common in Belt and Road regions, so "local demand for humanitarian aid is immense", he said.
To better address the demands, the society will further enhance its capacity, particularly in conducting projects overseas in fields such as crisis and disaster relief, and first aid, he said.
In addition, nonemergency assistance, such as community development programs, health promotion, disaster reduction and disease control, are also planned, he added.
In the long run, "the society is committed to ensuring people in those areas are no longer vulnerable to such situations, and helping them realize self-sustainability and development", he said.
As has been proven by many humanitarian crises, "the weak and vulnerable always suffer the most", Wang added.