On Monday, May 16, 2008, Mr. Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, delivered a letter to Mr. Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, People's Republic of China, on the release of €2 million from the EU towards the immediate relief efforts for the earthquake-affected areas in China.
Below is the whole letter:
I have been deeply moved by the appalling human cost of the earthquake that struck Sichuan and neighbouring provinces in China on Monday, and strongly admire the resilience shown by the Chinese people at this time. I would like to join my voice to that of President Barroso in expressing my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and my solidarity with the efforts the Chinese government is making to overcome this disaster. I appreciate the efficiency and professionalism shown in the conduct of the rescue operations.
When I learned of the earthquake I immediately authorised the dispatch of a specialised assessment team to China. This team is now in Sichuan province, where it has enjoyed excellent co-operation with the Chinese authorities and the Chinese Red Cross.
On the basis of the team's report I have ordered the release of €2 million towards the immediate relief efforts. This contribution will be channelled mostly through the International Federation of the Red Cross, and possibly other partners, and will be used to provide relief supplies to the worst affected areas, including tents, quilts, clothing, food parcels and water purification.
I am looking forward to meeting you again, as soon as circumstances allow, to continue the fruitful exchanges and co-operation that we started during our meetings in Beijing in April.
European Commissioner for
Development and Humanitarian aid
H.E. Mr Chen Deming
Minister of Commerce
People's Republic of China
(China.org.cy May 17, 2008)