China to implement food aid to African countries affected by El Nino

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Publication Date: 
07 April 2016
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BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China is to speed up disbursal of promised 1 billion yuan (155 million U.S. dollars) of food aid to African countries, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang was asked how China would respond to the African Union's recent appeal for international emergency aid to countries affected by drought said to be caused by one of the strongest El Nino events in 35 years.

The aid was pledged by President Xi Jinping last December.

"As a sincere and friendly partner of Africa, China is concerned by crop failures and possible starvation in many African countries," Lu said at a regular news briefing.

China supports Africa in developing agriculture, food security, and increasing food production, Lu said.

The combination of a poor 2014-2015 harvest, a dry October to December season and continuing drought until the middle of the year is expected to lead to crop failure, exposing vulnerable people to food insecurity and malnutrition, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in March.