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China Donates US$1 Mln to Tanzania on Food Shortage
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China on Wednesday donated 1.23 billion shillings (US$1 million) to Tanzania to assist its fight against the drought-caused food shortage.


Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa described the Chinese donation as a "big shot in the arm" and said that the cash donation had offered more room for his government to maneuver in its fight against the food shortage.


While representing the Chinese government for the donation, Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Yu Qingtai said that the Chinese government is paying close attention to the drought situation in Tanzania and is in the belief that the Tanzanian government is well capable of leading its people out of the current situation, which the ambassador described as "temporary difficulties."


"We are very determined to get out of the current situation and we still have enough (relief food reserve) in stock," the prime minister assured the Chinese ambassador.


Tanzania has some 57,000 tons of relief food in stock in the country's Strategic Grain Reserves.


A mid-February state survey estimated that 3,764,843 people in 618,816 households in 10 of Tanzania's 26 administrative regions needed 99,676 tons of relief food between February and April prior to the onset of the annual long rain season.


While delivering relief food to drought-affected areas throughout the country, the Tanzanian government has also waived import duties on maize to encourage traders to import more maize to help alleviate the food shortages.


(Xinhua News Agency April 13, 2006)

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