A United Nations emergency relief coordinator spoke highly
yesterday of China's relief efforts in the aftermath of a massive
earthquake in Pakistan earlier this month.
In his meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Jan Egeland asked for 20,000 tents, 10 helicopters and
as much money as immediately possible, and met with a "positive
"I was confident that China would give such an answer, and I
assume that assistance will flow in massively to Pakistan," he said
yesterday in a brief press conference in Beijing.
Jiabao promised that China would provide whatever help it can
for the reconstruction work in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan,
which were rocked by a 7.6-magnitude quake on October 8.
China also sent rescue teams to search through rubble for
"We are at the moment wanting to see China become an even bigger
and more predictable donor in international assistance work,"
Egeland said, and China agreed it has the potential and obligation
"They do not at all question our urgent need," he said.
Egeland also praised China's relief efforts in the aftermath of
the Asian tsunami last December.
"We did receive US$20 million, as some money was given very
early and immediately after the emergency," he said. "China did
China has also shown itself to be one of the leaders in the
world in disaster relief, he said.
"China has been responding so well to earthquakes and other
emergencies in the country, and everybody needs to learn from it,"
China probably had the most tents in storage at the time, he
"We are not doing well enough as international communities," he
said. "We are behind in reaching people up in the mountains in
Pakistan, and about 3 million people have been homeless or have had
their houses damaged."
The freezing temperature, rain and lack of roads have prevented
rescue teams from reaching out to those stranded.
"All nations must come together," Egeland said, "and China is
one of those of which we have highest expectations."
(China Daily, October 20, 2005)