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China assists vulnerable Basotho

Limpho Sello

THE Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Halebonoe Setsabi, recently received 1335 tonnes of parboiled rice from China as part of a food aid package to Lesotho after the country experienced disruptive weather conditions in the 2017/18 rainy season.

Mr Set?abi, who was speaking during the recent handover of the rice expressed gratitude to China for its support and said the consignment he received evoked his emotions knowing the significance it has to the two countries’ cooperation.

Mr Set?abi said the donation provided an opportunity not only to reflect on the existing bilateral relations between China and Lesotho, but also to enhance future cooperation to enhance common interests.

“The donation we received also brings hope and happiness, coming at a time when our country has experienced torrential rains which continue to damage the summer cropping throughout the country,” Mr Set?abi said.

“The gesture will go a long way in helping thousands of disadvantaged Basotho who might not afford food as they go through their daily lives.”

He said communities continue to be negatively affected by the ever-increasing scourge of food insecurity in the country.

Mr Set?abi reiterated Lesotho’s commitment to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) process and confirmed the country’s attendance at the coming summit in Beijing on 03 and 04 September 2018.

He said, FOCAC is reflection of China’s unremitting efforts to promote the socio-economic development of Lesotho and Africa and will lead to far-reaching developments.

For his part, His Excellency Ambassador of China to Lesotho, Dr Sun Xianghua, said his government increased the urgent food aid to Lesotho in response to the government’s requests.

Dr Sun said it was unfortunate that Lesotho and other African countries have been hit by severe droughts, which greatly affected the food security especially the unemployed and those in remote areas surviving on subsistence farming.

“In response to the requests for assistance, China decided to upgrade its urgent food assistance to the mountain Kingdom,” Dr Sun said.

“Though we witnessed a relatively better rain season last year, the challenge of food insecurity still lingers in Lesotho.”

He said the 1335 tonnes of rice was the second batch of the total donation of 2341 tonnes of emergency food aid from China during the 2017/2018 fiscal year. He said this is expected to help the government and its people to overcome the current difficult situation in the country.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Temeki T?olo, said the donation should encourage Basotho to take responsibility and grow foods in their fields.

“Rise and leave your miseries and vulnerabilities behind. Rise and join the masses of the world who toil and sweat day and night for their lives of their children,” Mr T?olo said.



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