Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Liberia H.E. Ren Yisheng at the 2022 Africa Day of School Feeding Celebration (Buchanan, May 13th, 2022)

Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Liberia H.E. Ren Yisheng at the 2022 Africa Day of School Feeding Celebration (Buchanan, May 13th, 2022)

Hon. Prof. Dr. Ansu Sonii, Sr, Minister of Education,
Hon. George Tee Forpoh , Deputy Minister of Agriculture,
Hon. Latim Dathong, Deputy Minister of Education,
Hon.Tarnue Mawolo Bongolee, Assistant Minister of Education,
Representative from the Ministry of Health,
Officials and elders of the Grand Bassa county and Buchanan city,
Distinguished colleagues from the diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Liberia,
Distinguished representatives from the civil society organizations, the media and schools,
Dear students and your family members,
Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Good morning! I am delighted to visit the renowned Buchanan city for the first time and attend the Africa Day of School Feeding celebration organized by the Liberian Government.

Since 2016, the Africa Day of School Feeding program has played an important role in promoting the food and nutrition security, the basic education and human resource development, as well as the sustainable family farming of African countries, including Liberia.

Over the past two years or so, the COVID-19 has been ravaging the world, and regional hotpot issues have frequently occurred. The international situation has become more complex and turbulent, posing huge challenges to world economic recovery, social development and food security. At present, the number of hungry people in the world has climbed to about 800 million, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development faces unprecedented challenges. African countries, especially the least developed countries in Africa, are facing rising risks and challenges. The international community needs to further strengthen cooperation, particularly in the areas of fighting the COVID-19, food security, poverty reduction and benefiting farmers, and provide assistance, within their capacity, to help African countries, including Liberia, to develop agriculture and strive for food security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Facing these once-in-a-century changes and a world in turmoil, China is determined to act as a responsible major country. We have made great efforts to safeguard international peace and security and to explore way forward for humanity. President Xi Jinping's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security have been warmly received and widely endorsed by the international community. Recently, President Xi Jinping also solemnly proposed a Global Security Initiative (GSI). The idea is to take the new vision on security as the guiding principle, mutual respect as the fundamental requirement, indivisible security as the important principle, and building a security community as the long-term goal, in order to foster a new type of security that replaces confrontation, alliance and a zero-sum approach with dialogue, partnership and win-win results. This major initiative offers a fundamental solution to eliminating "the peace deficit" and contributes Chinese perspectives to meeting international security challenges.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, China has stood together with other countries in the world, including Liberia, and supported each other. So far, China has provided over 1.8 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations, of which about 180 million were provided to Africa, covering almost all African countries, provided more than 2 billion US dollars to assist pandemic-stricken developing countries to fight against the COVID and restore their economic and social development, and provided a large number of masks, PPE, testing kits, etc. to more than 200 countries and regions. A cooperation mechanism has been established for Chinese hospitals to pair up with 41 African hospitals (including JFK Medical Center of Liberia); China-aided African CDC headquarters building, the largest building so far on the African continent is about to be completed; China has fully implemented the G20 "Debt Repayment Suspension Initiative for the Poorest Countries", with a total of more than 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, which make China the one with the largest amount of debt suspension among the G20 member states. At the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Chinese President Xi Jinping also announced that China will provide another one billion doses of COVID vaccines to Africa, including 600 million doses as donation and 400 million doses to be provided through such means as joint production by Chinese enterprises and relevant African countries. At the same time, China will provide 10 medical and health projects to Africa and dispatch 1,500 medical team members and public health experts to Africa. China will also assist Africa with 10 poverty reduction and agricultural projects, dispatch 500 agricultural experts, and set up a number of China-Africa joint centers for the exchange, demonstration and training of modern agricultural technology in China.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) proposed by President Xi Jinping and the "Pro-poor Agenda of Prosperity and Development (PAPD)" proposed by President George Manneh Weah, China and Liberia have achieved fruitful cooperation results in the fields of health care, food security, human resources development, and infrastructure construction. So far, China has donated 6 batches of anti-COVID materials to Liberia (including 2 batches from Chinese charity organizations). In recent years, the Chinese government has donated about 2,500 tons of rice to Liberia every year. Last year, the Chinese government also donated 2 million US dollars, and in cooperation with the World Food Programme, to source a total of more than 2,200 metric tons of rations for 55,250 students and their families for a period of 2 months in Montserrado, Nimba, and Maryland, counties that are hardest hit by the Covid. The total beneficiaries have reached more than 276,200 people. Besides, the Chinese government also donated 1 million US dollars, and in cooperation with UNICEF to provide high-quality health materials, nutrient food, and milk powder to pregnant women, newborn babies and severely malnourished children in 15 counties. The total beneficiaries have reached more than 91,500 people. Right now, the Chinese embassy is collaborating with the Ministry of Education and will provide 1,000 bags of 25kg rice, 500 tins of milk powder and some vegetable oil to some primary and secondary schools in Liberia.

In addition, the two Capital overpass bridges, the clinical diagnosis and treatment laboratory of the 14 Military Hospital, and the LBS expansion and upgrade project have finished their design stage and are about to commence. The Somalia-Sinkor Road and Bridge project is making steady progress. A new phase of bamboo and rattan weaving technical assistance project, and a new phase of the LBS technical assistance project will also be implemented soon. The Chinese government continues to provide Liberia with more than 50 full Chinese government scholarships and hundreds of short-term training opportunities every year to support the capacity building of Liberia. And for 13 consecutive years, Chinese government has dispatched a medical team to JFK Hospital to help provide high-quality medical and health services to the people of Liberia. The Chinese government has also implemented a zero-tariff policy on 98% of imported goods from Liberia.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the future, China will closely align the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, and the Global Security Initiative, all advocated by President Xi Jinping, with the PAPD, Africa 2063 Agenda and other African development agendas, and actively implement the "Nine Programs” of the 8th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC, and continue to help Liberia to cope with humanitarian crises such as the COVID and food insecurity, and provide assistance to promote Liberia's economic and social development, and make positive contributions to the peace, security, prosperity and development of Liberia and other African countries.

Finally, I wish the Africa Day of School Feeding celebration a great success!
Thank you all!

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