Staff load food onto a truck in Shanghai, east China, April 12, 2019. Ships carrying thousands of tonnes of rice set off from Huangpu Port in Shanghai on Friday for Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan to help these countries cope with their food security crisis. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) China Office held a departure ceremony to mark China's food assistance to the African countries. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
JUBA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Tuesday handed over 2,185 metric tons of rice to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support a school meals project in South Sudan.
Steve Nsubuga, WFP deputy country director in South Sudan, said the Chinese food aid will be used to provide meals to some 86,000 children in 230 schools across the country.
With over two million children out of school in South Sudan, Nsubuga said the Chinese assistance would boost efforts to increase education opportunities in the world's youngest nation.
The donation is part of seven million U.S. dollars contributed by China to the WFP for the purchases of rice, pulses and other essential commodities aimed at boosting food and nutrition assistance in the conflict-torn east African country.
"I thank the Chinese government who supported this program through this donation and we hope more development partners will come in and do like the government of China and support this program as well," said South Sudan's minister of education Deng Deng Hoc.
Liu Xiaodong, charge d'affairs at the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan, said the food assistance is part of China's efforts to help South Sudan end food insecurity.
"This makes yet another example of China-WFP and South Sudan conducting successful trilateral cooperation in boosting food security and nutrition in South Sudan. Food assistance is essential to avoid humanitarian catastrophe in this country," said Liu.