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China Hands Over Food Aid to Lesotho

(From Chinese Embassy in Lesotho)

2017/11/19

On 16 Nov 2017, a hand-over ceremony was held in Maseru for the food aid from the government of China to the government of Lesotho, on which H.E. Dr. Sun Xianghua, Ambassador of China to Lesotho, and Hon. Lesego Makhothi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lesotho, signed the hand-over certificate on behalf of each other's government. Hon. Tefo Mapesela, Minister of Trade and Acting Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Mr. Haretsebe Mahosi, Acting Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office and CEO of Disaster Management Authority, other government officials and media reporters attended the ceremony.

Ambassador Sun and Lesotho government officials inspected the food aid in the granary, and the latter spoke highly of the good quality of the food as well as China's quick response.

In his speech, Ambassador Sun said, in recent years, Lesotho and some other African countries have been hit by severe droughts. Last year when the food shortage in Lesotho was most serious, the Chinese government provided a batch of food aid and more than 400 thousand people benefited from it. This year, in response to the requests of the Lesotho government, the Chinese government decided to upgrade its urgent food assistance and wished this assistance will help the Lesotho government and people overcome the current difficult situation.

Ambassador Sun pointed out that, the Chinese government has responded to the negative impact of climate change with a series of measures. Firstly, at the International Cooperation Summit of the Belt and Road Initiative held in Beijing in May this year, H.E. Xi Jiping, President of China, announced that in the coming 3 years, China would provide 2 billion RMB worth of food aid to countries along the Belt and Road region. Secondly, in the past 20 years, China's accumulated energy saving accounts for 58% of the world's total, and its renewable energy production capacity accounts for 24% of the world's total, making a great contribution to the fight against climate change. Thirdly, China will continue to push forward its cooperation in the field of agricultural modernization with African countries including Lesotho.

Ambassador Sun emphasized that, President Xi pointed out in his report on the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that China will increase its assistance to other developing countries, especially the least developed countries, and do its part to reduce the North-South development gap. He said, we were fully convinced that China-Lesotho friendship and cooperation will further benefit from China's efforts in the new era and also contribute its share to this lofty cause, so as to make our relationship a fine example of partnership among countries.

Hon. Makhothi, on behalf of the Lesotho government and people, expressed gratitude to the valuable aid from the Chinese government. He said, since China and Lesotho resumed their diplomatic relations, the two sister countries shared close historical ties, premised upon a strong foundation of solidarity, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, and persistently expanded cooperation in infrastructure development, health, capacity building, etc. China was playing a vital role in Africa's development by implementing the 10 major cooperation plans of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Hon. Makhothi warmly congratulated the successful 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and believed that, the leadership of President Xi will attain China's rightful place as one of the leading economies of the world. He strongly reaffirmed Lesotho's position of adhering to the One China Policy and believed China is sure to realize peaceful reunification at an early date.

Hon. Mapesela said, as climate change being intensified, Lesotho suffered more severe shortage of food. China's constant and timely food aid would help the Lesotho people fight against food shortage and malnutrition. He sincerely thanked the Chinese government's help on behalf of the Prime Minister's office.

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