Speech by H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya at the Food Donation Ceremony Supported by the Chinese Communities in Kenya
(Ex-Telecom Building, Nairobi, 7th April 2017)
Hon. Devolution and Planning Principal Secretary Madam Josepheta Mukobe,
Chinese Community in Kenya,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Morning! Today we gather at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning to express our care and support to Kenyan people who are being affected by the drought. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to express my appreciation to the Chinese business community, Chinese nationals in Kenya, and all Embassy staff who actively participated in the donation efforts. As I know, volunteers from Chinese companies spent over 10 hours to upload all the trucks. I hope you will do more in the future to deepen the China-Kenya friendship.
The extensive and long-lasting drought has earnestly affected millions of Kenyan’s livelihoods which has drawn world-wide attention. H.E.President Kenyatta and the Kenyan government have launched a series of emergency measures, trying best to reduce the losses and sufferings, and to mitigate the severe situation caused by the drought. As brothers and sisters, the Chinese people are always standing side-by-side with the Kenyan people, offering maximum possible support. Last week, the Chinese Government announced Ksh2.25bn emergency humanitarian food aid to Kenya. The 20,000 tons of rice, which can feed 1.4 million people for a month, will soon be delivered to Kenya. The Chinese government also gave Ksh500 million humanitarian aid to Somalia and South Sudan refugees in Kenya through World Food Program. This has been so far the largest food aid China has ever granted to Kenya. At the same time, in response to the call of the Chinese Embassy, the Chinese business community together with the Chinese Embassy staff have also provided generous donations valued at Ksh16 million in total. Today, as we can see, the trucks fully loaded with maize flour, wheat flour and cooking oil, weighing 144 tons will leave for 9 Counties in most need of support (Turkana, Marsabit, Isiolo, Lamu, Baringo, Laikipia, Kitui, Samburu and Narok East). These donations are of good will of Chinese nationals in Kenya. They not only reflected the brotherhood between Chinese and Kenyan people, but also displayed the responsibility and commitment of China. We hope that our donations could contribute to Kenyan people’s efforts to overcome the disaster.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Developing countries have made great achievements in eco-social development in the past decades. Yet, natural disasters, hunger and poverty are still major concerns hampering human development. The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda stressed that “it is imperative to establish and implement all-round disaster management and to accelerate anti-disaster capacity building and infrastructure development.” According to the experiences of many countries, to solve the problems of food shortage and water crisis in the long run and in an efficient manner, we must commit to development.
In Chinese history, natural disasters such as drought, floods and sandstorms took place frequently, traumatizing Chinese people in a harsh way. The Chinese people being resilient in nature, worked hard to fight the disasters and built irrigation systems like Dujiangyan and Zhengguoqu, which have been in operation for thousands of years. In modern China, in order to solve the problem of regional imbalance of water resources, the Chinese Government launched the huge project of South to North Water Diversion, extending thousands of miles on land. Through painstaking efforts, China has made great progress in agricultural modernization, and got well-experienced in disaster relief.
China is always willing to share its experience and knowhow with African brothers, helping you to develop modern agriculture, upgrade your anti-disaster facilities and build your capacity for food production. In the future, China will continue to work closely with Kenya to further implement the outcome of the 2015 Johannesburg Summit, accelerating the Ten Major China-Africa Cooperation Plans including agricultural cooperation, especially in the following fields:
First, to strengthen the cooperation and exchanges on disaster relief mechanism, and to raise people’s awareness on disaster prevention. Secondly, to help Kenya develop efficient irrigation system and other infrastructures, and to improve grain storage facilities. Thirdly, to cooperate on professional training and to speed up technological transfer. We are currently working on the China-Africa Research Center and Joint Laboratory for Crop Molecular Biology. We will further expand, deepen and fortify the exchanges and cooperation in relevant fields. We sincerely hope that through these efforts, Kenya’s disaster prevention capacity and agricultural development could be elevated to a new level and Kenyan people could reap fruits from the cooperative efforts.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On 4th April, the Chinese 清明节 (Ancestor Worship Day) boded well for more rain, indicating it is the high time to sow seeds. We also hope that Kenya will recover from the disaster and the vulnerable people will come back to their normal life. I believe, China and Kenya will continue working together to meet opportunities and challenges for the good of common prosperity and development. Hopefully, the wind and rain will come in time, and we wish happiness and health to Kenyan people and long-lasting friendship between China and Kenya. Thank you!