Monday, January 25, 2010

UN Official Thankful for China's Assistance to Haiti 2010-01-22 15:58:57 Xinhua Web Editor: Zhang Jin

The United Nations was thankful to China's assistance to the quake-hit Haiti, an UN official said Friday after China pledged additional aid of 2.6 million U.S. dollars.

Khalid Malik, UN resident representative in China, made the remarks to Chinese reporters at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) residence in China.
"The Chinese rescue and search team has done a great job," Malik said of the 60-member team.
China's rescue team in Haiti has so far rescued and offered medical treatment to more than 2,500 people in quake-ravaged Port-au-Prince.
China initially announced emergency humanitarian aid worth 30 million yuan (4.41 million U.S. dollars), followed by an additional 2.6 million U.S. dollars in cash and the deployment of a 40-member medical care and epidemic prevention team to the Caribbean country.
"Speed, dedication, generosity, willingness to respond to human concerns even when there are no diplomatic ties," Anthea Webb, director of World Food Programme (WFP) China, also present at the briefing with Malik, said of China's response.
However, rescue and reconstruction "inevitably takes time" as the obstacles were massive, according to Webb.
The airport of Port-au-Prince used to have a maximum of 12 flights landing, but it was receiving about 150 recent days. The trucks to carry the aid supplies were clearly not enough. Roads were blocked and telecommunication was being re-established.
The focus of the UN was to get a concerted effort by the international community to help Haiti, Malik said, during which the organization was having dialogue with the Chinese government.
The UN welcomed the establishment of a humanitarian corridor between the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti to allow the speedy delivery of aid to the areas most affected by the earthquake.
The UNDP has issued a flash appeal for 41 million U.S. dollars to fund a cash-for-work program in which Haitians are being hired to work in the early stages of recovery, such as clearing rubble and repairing fallen electricity lines.
One of the challenges was "rebuilding the capacity of the Haitian government so they can take the lead in reconstruction", Malik said.

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