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Timor-Leste Thanks China for Rice Aid
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The government of Timor-Leste in Dili on Tuesday expressed gratitude to China for its donations earlier this year of over 4,000 tons of rice and 500 tons of cooking oil which were currently allocated to the refugees to support their living.


"We thank the Chinese government. The aid is very useful," Timor-Leste Manpower Minister Arsino Bano told Xinhua.


Tarik Elqundi, country director of the United Nations World Food Program said that the rice was donated by the Chinese government from February to March this year.


The aid was being distributed to the refugees in Dili for the third day on Tuesday, while the number of applicants rose to 4,000.


"Only strong people who can stand in line for long time may get it," Elqundi told Xinhua.


Outside the warehouse owned by the Agricultural Ministry, people lined up for hundreds of meters under the scorching sunshine.


The stocks were only enough for a short period, said Elqundi.


There were some 30,000 internally displaced persons in Dili, who were waiting for aid from the government, he added.


(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2006)

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