China's first shipment of aid materials under its 200 million yuan ($31.04 million) emergency humanitarian assistance announced by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, mainly blankets and cotton clothing and other cold-weather supplies, arrived in Kabul on Sept 29, according to Luo Zhaohui, chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).
Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu and the minister of refugees of the Afghan interim government were at the airport to receive the supplies.
According to Luo, the assistance is timely, urgent, effective and unconditional. It's timely as China was the first country to promise aid, and the first to implement it, and after communicating with Afghanistan, China arranged the aid in less than a week as a matter of urgency. It's urgent as Afghanistan is about to enter winter, this shipment of supplies is badly needed to solve pressing problems. It'll be effective as the Chinese embassy in Afghanistan will work with the country's interim government and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Afghanistan to ensure that the supplies are distributed to those in need. It's also unconditional as no political conditions are attached to the assistance, and there is no self-interest.
Luo noted that after 42 years of war, Afghanistan is in a critical period of transition from chaos to governance. The country is in an economic crisis and its people are fighting for survival. At present, there is a shortage of food, a serious COVID-19 pandemic situation, and a lack of winter clothing. Fourteen million people lack food and nearly 200,000 people are infected with COVID-19. The interim government of Afghanistan and relevant UN agencies have repeatedly issued urgent appeals and requested the generosity of the international community.
Luo said that Afghanistan is an important neighbor of China. China has a long history of friendship with Afghanistan and has maintained close relations with successive Afghan governments, as well as contact with the Taliban.
President Xi Jinping announced that China is willing to help the Afghan people overcome their difficulties and will send emergency assistance as soon as possible while attending a joint summit of the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization member states on the Afghanistan issue on Sept 17. Earlier, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had announced the provision of emergency humanitarian aid worth 200 million yuan to Afghanistan.
The first shipment of aid expressed the deep friendship of the Chinese people to the Afghan people, reflecting China's responsibility as a great nation to keep its promise and be kind to its neighbors. The aid is a significant move to build a community with a shared future with neighbors, and is sincerely welcomed by the Afghan people.
Luo said that China will continue to provide food, vaccines and medicines urgently needed by Afghanistan as part of the 200-million-yuan commitment. When security and other conditions are available, China is also willing to help with Afghanistan's reconstruction, cultivate the country's capability in livelihood and sustainable development, and support its goals of getting rid of poverty and backwardness and achieving economic and social development. At the same time, China calls on the international community, including the UN agencies, to take positive action to form a joint effort to help Afghanistan.
Luo added that the United States is the cause of the problems in Afghanistan and cannot shake off the responsibilities or the blame and just walk away. The US should take primary responsibility for humanitarian relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan.