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China pledges continuous Ebola aid to Africa

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-31 17:20

BEIJING - After announcing last week that it was preparing its fourth batch of aid, China on Friday pledged to continue to send assistance to those African countries struggling with the Ebola outbreak.

"China's assistance will not stop as long as the Ebola epidemic [continues] in West Africa," said director of the Foreign Ministry's African Affairs Department Lin Songtian.

Last week, President Xi Jinping announced aid worth $82 million, would be channeled to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic.

With this fresh batch of aid to the region, China has directed 122 million dollars to West African countries.

Following the outbreak of Ebola in February, China offered three batches of aid -- in April, August and September respectively -- to West African countries.

The latest round of assistance will finance the construction of a 100-bed treatment center in Liberia, where the epidemic is most serious.

The center, expected to be put to use within 30 days, will be managed and operated by an elite medical team from the People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to Lin.

The treatment center will be the only one in the three epidemic-stricken countries that is constructed, staffed and operated by a foreign country, Lin added.

The Chinese government has selected and trained 480 medical staff from the PLA to be sent to Liberia in three batches of 160 people.

Also in the fourth round of assistance, China will provide 60 ambulances, 100 motorcycles, 10,000 health-care kits, 150,000 pieces of personal protection equipment as well as other materials such as hospital beds, pick-up trucks and incinerators.

China will send more health experts to help train local medical personnel and will draft a long-term plan for China-Africa public health cooperation.

Besides, China will also donate six billion dollars to the UN Ebola Response Multi-partner Trust Fund and work with international organizations and countries concerned to help African countries, Lin said.

According to Lin, there are nearly 200 medical staff in West Africa at present and with the addition of the fourth batch of assistance, the experts and medical staff sent by China to the region will surpass 700.

"Currently, the epidemic in West Africa is far from under control and poses a real threat to the people of the epidemic-stricken countries and the whole world," Lin said, adding that the whole international community should be united in the fight against Ebola.

"We strongly urge the international community, developed countries in particular, to take urgent measures; fulfill promises as early as possible; and mobilize more resources to further enhance efforts to provide assistance to Africa," Lin said.

"We hope that the parties concerned shall enhance communication and coordination, support the leading and coordinating role of the UN and the WHO to make the assistance more effective and targeted with greater synergy so that we can win the final victory in the joint fight against Ebola," Lin added.

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