China will provide another batch of food, including over 1,000 bags of 25 kg rice and 500 tins of powdered milk and vegetable oil, for primary and secondary school students through its embassy in Liberia, the Chinese ambassador to Liberia Ren Yisheng said on Friday.
In a special statement on the Africa Day of School in Liberia's coastal city of Buchanan, Ren also said that China and Liberia have achieved fruitful cooperation results in the fields of healthcare, food security, human resources development, and infrastructure construction. Cooperation in the fight of the COVID-19 pandemic is also underway.
"So far, China has donated six batches of anti-COVID-19 materials to Liberia, including two batches from Chinese charity organizations. In recent years, the Chinese government has donated about 2,500 metric tons of rice to Liberia every year," Ren said.
Ren indicated that last year, the Chinese government also donated $2 million and, in cooperation with the World Food Programme, sourced a total of more than 2,200 metric tons of rations for 55,250 students and their families for a period of two months in the counties of Montserrado, Nimba, and Maryland, the counties hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia.
The school feeding initiative currently feeds over 243,000 schoolchildren throughout the country, said Liberia's Deputy Education Minister Latim Dathong.
Ren said that in the future, China will closely align the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, and the Global Security Initiative, all advocated by China, with Africa 2063 Agenda and other African development agendas, and actively implement the consensus of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which was held in Senegal last year. By doing so China will continue to help Liberia cope with humanitarian crises such as the COVID-19 and food insecurity, and provide assistance to promote Liberia's economic and social development, and make contributions to the peace, security, prosperity and development of Liberia and other African countries, he said.
In addition to the school feeding support, Ren said some China-financed projects in the country, including two capital overpass bridges, and a clinical diagnosis and treatment laboratory of the 14 Military Hospital would shortly commence, following the completion of their design stage.
He further stated that the Chinese government has implemented a zero-tariff policy on 98 percent of goods imported from Liberia, while the Liberia broadcasting system technical assistance project will be implemented as well.
For his part, Liberia's Education Minister Ansu Sonii thanked the Chinese embassy and partners, including the WFP, UNICEF, Save the Children, and Mary's Meals, for their support to the country's school feeding program. The support, he said, will encourage children to attend school regularly.