China announces USD 82 million aid to fight Ebola in Africa

China on Friday announced USD 82 million aid to Ebola-hit West African countries scaling up its contribution to about USD 90 million, a move seen as an attempt to match US efforts to fight the deadly disease.

Beijing: China on Friday announced USD 82 million aid to Ebola-hit West African countries scaling up its contribution to about USD 90 million, a move seen as an attempt to match US efforts to fight the deadly disease.

"China will provide 500 million yuan (about USD 82 million) in aid to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and international organisations to fight Ebola," President Xi Jinping said today.

"China will offer aid in cash and in kind, send more health experts and medical staff and help build a treatment centre in Liberia," Xi said after meeting with visiting President of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.

Xi said China is willing to work with the international community to help the affected countries win the fight against Ebola at an early date, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has continued to spread, threatening the lives of African people, their economic and social development as well as global public health, he said.

China knows how the affected countries suffer and has taken a lead to provide three rounds of assistance to them, Xi said, using the famous proverb: "A friend in need is a friend indeed."

Since the Ebola outbreak in February, China has delivered humanitarian aid swiftly, offering multiple batches of emergency assistance and dispatching nearly 200 experts and workers to the affected areas to help with prevention and control.

In August, China delivered aid worth 30 million yuan (about USD 5 million) to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

A month later, the Chinese government announced another batch of cash, food and material aid and donated USD 2 million in cash to the World Health Organisation and the African Union.

China has scaled up its diplomatic push into Africa with lots of aid and assistance to counter US influence in the continent. China is also Africa's largest trading partner.  

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