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UPDATED: February 26, 2008 From china.org.cn
Chinese Envoy: China to Provide More Aid to Darfur
Monday's aid includes portable rooms, which could be used either as classrooms or clinics, said the envoy

The Chinese government's special representative for Darfur, Liu Guijin, Monday pledged China will provide more humanitarian assistance to people in Sudan's western region of Darfur.

Chinese Ambassador to Sudan Li Chengwen (front left) and Sudanese undersecretary of Humanitarian Affairs Charles Manianf sign their names during a handover ceremony of aid package from China to Darfur in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, February 25

"Our government is preparing a new budget and more humanitarian assistance will be forced forward," Liu said at a handover ceremony of an aid package of 20 million yuan ($2.8 million).

"We just want to send signals to Sudan and the outside world that the Chinese people and their government are sympathetic with the people there in Darfur. China is showing solidarity to the Sudanese unity government in its efforts to help people in Darfur," he said.

China has delivered five batches of assistance to the Darfur region at a combined value of 80 million yuan ($11 million).

Monday's aid includes portable rooms, which could be used either as classrooms or clinics, said the envoy.

"The Chinese government and its people show great sympathy to those internally-displaced people (IDP) living in the camps in Darfur for their suffering and difficulties. So we are willing to provide necessary assistance for them," the Chinese envoy said.

"Though there are many transportation obstacles in Darfur, most Chinese humanitarian goods have already been distributed to those IDP camps there on the ground," he added.

In addition, Liu said Chinese companies have spent about $50 million on development projects in Darfur, including 85 km of water pipelines, water wells and water containers.

Some wells and containers have been put to use, he said, adding that with these projects families in IDP camps and peacekeeping forces of the UN-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur will be able to drink clean water.

"With humanitarian aid and development projects, we show to the world that China is sincere in providing tangible assistance to Darfur," Liu said.

"We have never, and will never in the future, attach any kind of political conditions to these aid and development projects, because we think that providing assistance is just for the benefit of the people, it is not for political purposes, not for showing off to the outside world," he said.

The situation in Darfur, particularly the humanitarian situation, is gradually improving, he said, adding that he will go to Darfur Tuesday and visit some IDP camps to see those changes.

China has committed itself "to working closely with the Sudanese unity government and the transitional authorities in Darfur for the benefit of the people, for the end of people's suffering and for a long-lasting settlement of the Darfur issue," Liu said.

Sudanese Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Harun Run Liwal said his government and people in Darfur are grateful for China's humanitarian assistance, which is free of any conditions.

Run Liwal said he was glad to know that Liu would make a field tour to Darfur and visit the IDP camps again since it will be a good opportunity for the envoy to see how Chinese aid is distributed among the camps.

After a trip to Britain, Liu arrived here Sunday for a four-day visit, the fourth since his appointment on May 10, 2007.

The 62-year-old veteran diplomat and former Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe and South Africa has been engaged in African affairs for more than 25 years. During his previous missions, Liu shuttled between the United States, Britain, Egypt and other countries concerned to seek support for a solution to the Darfur issue.

(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2008)

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