V. Helping to Improve People's Livelihood
If Africa is to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals it must improve its public facilities, solve food shortage problems, improve sanitary conditions and reduce the burden of foreign debt. China shows great concern for the livelihood of African people, helping African countries to build public facilities, increase their agricultural production, improve their medical care and public health service, actively reduce their debts, and provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
Actively offering assistance for building public welfare facilities. China has offered assistance to African countries in building large numbers of public welfare projects such as low-cost housing, well digging for water supply, sewage treatment, radio and television and telecommunications network, playing a positive role in improving the local people' s living standards. For example, low-cost housing projects in Seychelles, Mozambique, Angola and Ethiopia have improved the dwelling conditions of the local people. The well-digging projects in Nigeria, Senegal and Equatorial Guinea, the water supply systems in Tanzania and Niger have solved the drinking-water problem for many people. The national television center in Equatorial Guinea has made the transmission and coverage of local television signals possible.
Conducting multiform agricultural cooperation. Food security is important for stable development and poverty relief efforts in Africa. Agriculture is the pillar industry of most African countries and a priority field for China-Africa economic and trade cooperation. China always regards helping Africa solve its food security problem as its ultimate goal in China-Africa agricultural cooperation. The major fields of China-Africa agricultural cooperation cover infrastructure construction, food production, breeding industry, exchange and transfer of agricultural practical techniques, and processing, storage and transport of agricultural products. By the end of 2009, China had helped to build over 142 agricultural projects in Africa such as pilot agro-technical stations, stations for popularizing agricultural techniques and farms. China has launched 14 agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa, and provided a large amount of agricultural materials and equipment. The Chinese government also encourages its enterprises to invest in agricultural product processing and agricultural development projects in Africa.
Improving medical and health conditions in Africa. The major measures taken by China to help African countries improve their medical and health conditions include offering assistance to build hospitals, sending medical teams to Africa, and providing medicines and medical supplies. By the end of 2009, China had helped to build 54 hospitals, set up 30 malaria prevention and treatment centers, and provided anti-malaria drugs worth 200 million yuan to 35 African countries. Since 1963, China has sent medical teams to 46 African countries with a total number of 18,000 medical workers, treating as many as 200 million patients and training tens of thousands of African medical staff over the decades. They have not only cured common and frequent diseases but also created the conditions to perform challenging operations like treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, re-attachment of severed limbs and removal of large tumors, saving the lives of many patients in danger and filling the medical gap in the aided countries. At present, over 1,000 Chinese medical workers are providing medical services in 41 African countries.
Reducing Africa's debts. The Chinese government has always supported African countries in their effort to reduce their debts, helped relieve their burden of debts to China. From 2000 to 2009, China canceled 312 debts of 35 African countries, totaling 18.96 billion yuan. The above-mentioned debt relief measures demonstrate China's determination and aspiration to help Africa develop, and speed up the process of debt reduction for Africa by other countries.
Stepping up efforts for disaster reduction and relief and humanitarian aid. China and Africa actively conduct personnel exchanges in disaster reduction and relief, and promote technical cooperation and experience sharing. When African countries are hit by natural disasters or war, China always promptly offers humanitarian aid to them. With growing national strength, China has increased its humanitarian aid to Africa. In 2003, when Algeria was hit by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake, China immediately sent emergency relief supplies worth a total of US$5.36 million, and dispatched a rescue team to the disaster-hit area. In 2004 China officially established a mechanism of humanitarian emergency response for disaster relief, which made the relief action faster and more efficient. In recent years, China has provided emergency relief supplies such as food and tents to Sudan, Madagascar, Burundi, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe, helping these countries to increase their ability to fend off disasters and to reconstruct after disasters. Since 2004 China has provided about 150 million yuan in the form of grants to Sudan for humanitarian supplies, well-digging and water-supply projects in Darfur.