Rice donated to Namibia by the People’s Republic of China to help mitigate the effects of drought among more than 595,000 drought-affected communities is on its way and will be ready for distribution by June or July.
Early last week Li Nan, the charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy, signed an agreement with the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Nangula Mbako.
The director of the Disaster Risk Management Unit in the OPM, Japhet Iitenge, represented his directorate, while the Ministry of International Relations was represented by Elvis Shiweda, the deputy director for bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as Marianne Nujoma, assistant director in the department for bilateral relations.
Li said: “It is indeed my great pleasure and honour to be invited to this significant function, to sign the exchange of letters on the food donation from China and witness the fruitful cooperation between our two governments.
“As we all know, owing to the continuous El Nino phenomena from 2013 to 2016, Namibia has encountered serious and persistent drought calamity, and the food security of thousands of Namibian brothers and sisters were threatened.”
Li noted that in June last year President Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency as a result of the drought that made hundreds of Namibians food insecure.
“The Chinese people and government were seriously concerned and worried about this situation. To help our Namibian brothers and sisters, the Chinese government immediately agreed to donate 4,000 metric tonnes of rice aid to Namibia.
“Thanks to the professional work of our colleagues in the directorate of disaster risk management, all of the rice aid has been well received, transported and distributed smoothly. More than 595,000 beneficiaries living in the rural areas all over the country will receive the donation.
“As you may know… two weeks ago, during the visit to Namibia, the Chinese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zhang Ming, officially handed over the rice aid to the Namibian government and when he met Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah Zhang announced the new batch of rice aid for drought relief in Namibia,” Li informed the ceremony.
This latest donation contains 2,600 metric tonnes of rice, worth about N$40 million Namibian dollars.
“After the signing of this exchange of letters, the supplier in China will start the producing, packing, and shipment right away. Predictably by June or July, we shall receive the first batch of the new rice aid at Walvis Bay,” the charge d’ affaires noted.
He reiterated that China, as an important development partner of Namibia, highly values its friendly relations with Namibia, and will consistently stand by Namibia.
Earlier this month the Chinese Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Namax, a Chinese pharmaceutical firm, also jointly donated anti-malaria medicine worth N$500,000 to the Ministry of Health and Social Services following an outbreak of malaria that claimed numerous lives.
At the time Li had informed the PS in the Ministry of Health, Andreas Mwoombola, that: “It is our full duty to take care of our Namibian brothers and sisters, especially in the north, where the outbreak of malaria is severe. The donation embodies the relationship between Namibia and China. By working together we can win this fight against malaria, not only in Namibia, but also in the entire Africa.”
Before the donation of the anti-malarial drugs, Mwoombola called on more corporate sector partners to assist government with medicine, as there was a notable fall in the supply of anti-malaria medicine.