|October 31, 2017 -- China on Monday pledged to continue its relief aid to Syria to alleviate the suffering of Syrian people in the war-torn country.
The pledge was made by Chinese Ambassador to Syria Qi Qianjin during an inspection tour of several establishments in the town of Manin in north of Damascus, including a bakery, a medical clinic and a charity kitchen, which received Chinese aid through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
Qi said that Chinese government in May donated 1 million U.S. dollars in emergency financial aid to the ICRC to support its humanitarian relief operations in Syria, including providing clean water, food, temporary sheltering and medical treatment for the internally displaced Syrians and refugees from neighboring countries.
The Chinese aid was part of the joint efforts that China has conducted with the ICRC to alleviate the suffering of Syrian people affected by the protracted civil war and violence through providing humanitarian aid, the ambassador said.
"The Chinese government has cooperated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Program (WFP) in many projects in Syria and we would like for these projects to be conducive in alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and boost the tracks of the political solution in the country," he said.
At the SARC headquarters in the town, people were lining up, waiting to get relief aid that included mattresses, blankets, and food parcels.
"I take aid every six months, which includes a food parcel containing some foodstuff, rice and sometimes wheat. I say thanks to everyone who contributes in relief aid whoever they are," Imad Adleh, a resident of Manin, told Xinhua while waiting in the line.
In a statement, the Chinese Embassy said the visit on Monday was to check on the humanitarian assistance program in Manin, which includes the joint efforts of the Chinese government and the ICRC to provide humanitarian assistance to Syria.
"We hope that this program, including water treatment, collective kitchen, bakeries, and relief distribution point could mitigate the suffering of affected people in Syria," the statement said.
Throughout the over six-year war, the Chinese government has progressively engaged in alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Syria through cooperation with multilateral organizations and direct donation as well as direct interaction with the Syrian government.
In the first half of 2017, the Chinese government signed three assistance gratis agreements, which were worth over 40 million dollars, with the Syrian government to support the sectors of electrical devices, transportation, and other humanitarian aid operations.
In addition to the above assistance, the Chinese government has also donated 5,400 tons of rice to Syria, among which the first convoy of 1,000 tons will arrive in the seaport of Latakia this week, the Chinese embassy said in the statement.
Other batches of rice provided by China will be delivered to Syria by the end of 2017.
China has donated 1 million U.S. dollars to WHO, WFP and the ICRC, respectively, in 2017, the statement said.
"Through the humanitarian assistance program rolled out by the mentioned international organizations, food and sanitary conditions in Syria are greatly enhanced," it said.
In the future, the Chinese government will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Syria and call for accelerating the diplomatic process and the process of reconciliation to end the prolonged crisis in Syria at an early date, it added.