China donates US$2.5m to Barbuda hurricane relief

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China is providing US$2.5 million to the Antigua and Barbuda government as the Caribbean island seeks to rebuild following the passage of Hurricane Irma last month.

Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, in a letter to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, said that he was “shocked to learn” that the storm had ravaged Barbuda, causing at least one death and destruction.

“On behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, I would like to extend my profound condolences and sincere sympathy to those who were injured and those who lost a relative and property during the natural tragedy,” Li wrote in the letter.

In making the donation, Beijing said that it will “stand side by side with the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda during this difficult period,” and that it has decided to cancel the annual National Day celebrations in Antigua, donating the US$50, 000 earmarked for the celebrations towards the Barbuda relief effort.

Browne said that China has “once again proven that it is a true friend of Antigua and Barbuda and during this time of need has come to the assistance of the government in the daunting task of rebuilding Barbuda into a bigger and better island.

“China has stood side by side with Antigua and Barbuda since our nations established diplomatic relations in 1983, and no other country has contributed more to the infrastructural, social and economic development of our twin island state,” Browne said.

“We thank the government and people of the People’s Republic of China for this significant donation towards the rebuilding effort in Barbuda,” he added.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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