On May 18, in a speech via video link from Beijing at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced five concrete measures to boost the global fight against COVID-19, among which, Xi laid special emphasis on supporting Africa in combating the pandemic.
Xi announced that China will provide $2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries.
Besides, China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity. Also, a China-developed COVID-19 vaccine, when available, will be made a global public good. This shows China's efforts and sincerity to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
These mark new moves by China to boost cooperation with African countries. China has always called on the international community to attach importance to assisting African countries, and has led in doing so.
On March 7, China announced a donation of $20 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of its coordination of global efforts against the COVID-19 epidemic. On April 25, when the U.S. suspended its funding to the WHO, China pledged an additional $30 million to the WHO to help fight the pandemic, with a focus on strengthening public health systems of developing countries.
In the battle against COVID-19, China and African countries supported each other to overcome difficulties, writing a new chapter of China-Africa friendship in the new era and endeavoring to forge a closer community of shared future.
During the most difficult period of China's fight against COVID-19, African countries provided China with valuable support, which will be engraved in the hearts of the Chinese people. Egypt and South Africa donated medical supplies to China. Equatorial Guinea and Djibouti generously donated $2 million and $1 million, respectively, to the Chinese Government to fight the epidemic.
In a communiqué at the end of the deliberations during the 36th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU), member states have expressed their solidarity with the government and people of China. The ministers of foreign affairs of the AU member states said they are confident that China will contain the deadly disease. They also called on other countries to work together with China to strengthen cooperation and jointly deal with the impact of the epidemic.
Since the spread of COVID-19 to Africa, China has been standing together with the continent to defeat the virus. China sent anti-epidemic supplies and dispatched medical experts to African countries to share its experience. The Chinese Government also called for international action to support African countries in fighting the epidemic.
So far, China has stepped up medical assistance to more than 50 African countries and the AU. Five Chinese medical expert groups were dispatched to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Algeria, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises, non-governmental organizations and 46 Chinese medical aid teams stationed in Africa have also extended a helping hand to African countries. The Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation donated anti-epidemic supplies three times to African countries, making their contribution in fighting the epidemic together with African people.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that African countries might suffer the worst result caused by the pandemic, and only when Africa wins the war against the epidemic can the global epidemic be completely ended.
As a Chinese poem dating back to the Tang Dynasty goes, "Mountains and rivers apart, we share the same winds and moon under the same sky." It is reasonable to believe that after the epidemic, the friendship between Chinese and African people will be further consolidated and the China-Africa community with a shared future will be even stronger.
Source: ChinaAfrica VOL.13 June ·2020-05-27