Wed, 26 Jan 2022

BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- China said on Friday that its humanitarian assistance to Africa after COVID-19 struck the continent is "the largest such program in scale and the most difficult to implement" since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Since 2020, the central government of China has provided emergency anti-pandemic supplies -- including 120 batches of nucleic acid test reagents, protective gear, masks, eye protectors and ventilators -- to 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) based on their respective needs, according to a new policy document on China-Africa ties.

The document said such assistance of supplies was rendered in coordination with Chinese local governments, enterprises and social organizations, and these emergency supplies have reached almost all areas across the African continent.

China has also actively shared its anti-epidemic experience with African countries, and dispatched anti-epidemic medical expert groups or short-term medical teams to 17 African countries to fight the epidemic alongside local people, according to the document released by China's State Council Information Office.

China also pushed for the earlier start of the construction of the headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), a project assisted by the country, it said.

The white paper, titled "China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals," was released ahead of a meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a platform for collective dialogue between China and Africa and mechanism for pragmatic cooperation.

The FOCAC will meet at the end of November in African co-chair country Senegal. The meeting will be of great importance in "promoting post-pandemic economic recovery and development in Africa, China and the world at large," the white paper said.

Health cooperation will be an important part of the agenda of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC, scheduled for Nov. 29 to 30 in Senegal's capital of Dakar, said Wu Peng, a senior official of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a press conference Friday.

China is ready to continue supporting African countries in their fight against COVID-19 in accordance with the pandemic situation and the wishes of relevant countries, according to Wu.

The white paper also detailed China's vaccine assistance to Africa. By Nov. 12, China had provided over 1.7 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 110 countries and organizations, including 50 African countries and the AU Commission, it said.

Chinese firms are actively engaging in joint vaccine production in Africa with local firms, helping countries, in accordance with their wishes, to realize localized vaccine production. To date they have started localized production in Egypt, and signed cooperative agreements with Morocco and Algeria, according to the white paper.

At the press conference, Wu said China-Africa cooperation has demonstrated its resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic as many joint projects continued to proceed.

More than 1,100 China-Africa joint programs have continued, and nearly 100,000 Chinese technicians and workers have remained at their posts, he said.

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