The hand-over ceremony of food aid provided by the Chinese government to Somalia through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund was held in Mogadishu on June 12.
Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian, Somalia's Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Hamza Said Hamza, Minister of Agriculture Said Hussein Iid, Deputy Country Director of World Food Programme (WFP) Somalia Country Office Emmanuel Bigenimana, and other dignitaries attended the event.
Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian delivers a speech at the ceremony. [photo/cidca.gov.cn]
Qin said in his speech that in September last year, President Xi Jinping met with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed during the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The two leaders planned the future development of China-Somalia relations.
The Chinese government announced that it would provide 6,500 tons of food aid to the Somali people, including rice, corn, beans, vegetable oil and specialty nutritious food. Today, 2,000 tons of rice arrived in Somalia from China. The assistance will be used for Somali women, children and displaced people affected by the disaster, Qin said.
The aid is a fruitful achievement in the implementation of the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative, and reflects the sincere and friendly brotherhood between China and Somalia.
Qin said that China-Somalia friendship has a long history, and since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, cooperation in various fields has achieved fruitful results. China will continue to support and help the development of Somalia and improve its people's livelihood.
Ambassador Qin, together with Somalian officials, reviews the rice provided by China. [photo/cidca.gov.cn]
Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian and Deputy Country Director of WFP Somalia Country Office Emmanuel Bigenimana review the rice provided by China. [photo/cidca.gov.cn]
The Somali side praised the generous and selfless assistance provided by the Chinese government, spoke highly of China's contribution to the peaceful development of Somalia, and thanked China for providing timely food aid.
Joining hands with the WFP, the food will be delivered to those in need in a timely manner to address their needs. Somali and WFP officials said that this once again reflects the friendship between China and Somalia and that China is a trustworthy partner and a responsible country.
Somalia's humanitarian situation is grim as it has suffered from continuous drought due to climate change. A large number of people in the country need food aid. The arrival of China's assistance will encourage the international community to increase its aid to Somalia.
Officials at the hand-over ceremony [photo/cidca.gov.cn]
In addition to the rice shipped from China, the WFP plans to use the assistance of the Chinese government to purchase corn, grains and edible oil from Somalia to help the victims.