China on Tuesday said it would provide 10 million RMB ($1.52 million) in emergency humanitarian relief to flood-hit Sri Lanka.
Flooding has left at least 40 people dead and more than 1 million people displaced in the north, east and central parts of the country in recent days.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said in addition to the Chinese government’s $1.52 million relief package, the Red Cross Society of China would provide cash assistance of $30,000.
On Monday, India’s second consignment of $1 million reached the island nation, which included 21 tonnes of relief material, containing pulses, milk powder, sugar and water-purifying tablets.
Mr. Hong said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had conveyed the Chinese government’s sympathy and support to Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris. “The Chinese people empathise with the Sri Lankan people. We believe under the leadership of the Sri Lankan government, the Sri Lankan people will overcome the floods and rebuild their homes,” he said.
In recent years, China has emerged as among Sri Lanka’s biggest donors. In 2009, China, for the first time, became the country’s single biggest donor, providing $1.2 billion in loans and grants.
Financial assistance from China in that year exceeded that from development organisations such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
According to a report in the Financial Times on Tuesday, China’s state-run banks have lent more to developing countries than even the World Bank, between 2009 and 2010. The newspaper reported that the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China and the China Development Bank together provided more than $110 billion in loans in 2009 and 2010, compared with $100 billion from the World Bank in the past two years.
Responding to the report, Mr. Hong of the Foreign Ministry said China would continue to provide more financial assistance to developing countries, in keeping with its own development. “With China’s development, China will contribute more to world peace and development,” he said. “Providing development aid to other countries is a concrete reflection of China’s foreign policy in this regard.”