April 21, 2015 By Alusine Sesay
The Chinese government has promised to pay more attention to the development of agriculture, fisheries, mining and manufacturing industry in a bid to help fight hunger, poverty and create more job opportunities.
Addressing the media at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Freetown yesterday, Special Representative of the Chinese Foreign Minister, Ambassador Wang Yi, who also doubles as the Director General of the Department of African Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry and Secretary General of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, said his visit was to review Beijing’s intervention in the fight against Ebola and plans for post-Ebola economy recovery.
“It is always said that a friend in need is a friend indeed. As best friend, we have the obligation to stand by Sierra Leone in times of struggle. We will fight to the end and help rebuild the country’s economy,” he promised.
Ambassador Wang said the Chinese government would help empower Sierra Leone to build a sustainable economy through private investments, agriculture, human capacity building and infrastructure development.
He recounted the contribution the Chinese have made since the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the three Mano River Union countries as they were first in time to render assistant to the three countries.
In the area of disease prevention and control, he said the Chinese government would help the government of Sierra Leone establish three modern villages that would be equipped for the prevention of tropical diseases, as well as help the African Union establish a disease centre on the continent.
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Ebun Strasser-King, noted that China’s contribution to Sierra Leone in the fight against the Ebola virus cannot be overemphasized as they were the first to respond to President Ernest Bai Koroma’s call for support with financial, medical and human assistance.
She noted that aside from their contribution to the United Nations, China provided direct assistance to Sierra Leone and helped built the capacity of local medical staff through their public health team.
Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in May last year, China has contributed immensely in the fight against the disease. They have provided four batches of emergency assistance to Sierra Leone, including medical and logistical support materials, capital fund, food supply, laboratories and medical personnel.
In addition, China also recently provided 40 ambulances, 1,000 hospital beds, 10 pick-up trucks, 30 motorbikes, 10 incinerators, 40,000 bottles of hand-washing disinfectant, 500 sets of medical staff healthcare products, and 500 sets of community personnel healthcare products.