China to play bigger role in Syria's reconstruction, development process: ambassador

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China will play a bigger role in the reconstruction and development process in the war-torn Syria through increasing its aid, Chinese Ambassador to Syria Qi Qianjin said Sunday.

"I think it's about time to focus all efforts on the development and reconstruction of Syria, and I think China will play a bigger role in this process by providing more aid to the Syrian people and the Syrian government," the ambassador said during a tour to the al-Muwasat University Hospital in Damascus.

China has made several donations to support the health sector in Syria, the latest of which is funding the renovation of the emergency department of the al-Muwasat University Hospital.

Qi visited Sunday the emergency department in which China has contributed to its rehabilitation.

In January 2017, the Chinese government donated US$1 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) for supporting a humanitarian project on addressing the health issues of affected Syrians.

The project includes providing health care services for Syrian refugees and improving primary health care and outreaching health services in Syria.

The project of rehabilitating the emergency center in the al-Muwasat University Hospital reflects a concrete implementation of the Chinese humanitarian aid, said the Chinese embassy in a statement.

It added that part of the funding for the renovation of the emergency department came from the Chinese donation. The project includes changing electrical wires, water pipes, elevators, and provision of beds and medical equipment.

"We believe this project will play an active role in improving the local medical and health situation," the embassy's statement read.

Qi said that he hopes the Chinese donation will help improve the medical services provided for the Syrian people.

"We wish that these donations for this hospital and other organizations help provide the best services to the Syrian people, especially the sick. These donations are also a clear evidence of the deep friendship between the governments of China and Syria and the peoples of China and Syria," he said.

For his part, Esam Ameen, the head of the al-Muwasat University Hospital, expressed gratitude for the Chinese support.

"China's supportive stance was not only in the political field, but also on the practical level, as China has provided much aid, including this help in renovating the emergency center, which has provided a vital service for the Syrian people," Ameen said.

Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO representative in Syria, said the Chinese support was generous.

"China has provided very generous support for the renovation of the emergency department of the hospital on behalf of the WHO," Hoff said.

"I wish to thank the Chinese people through the Chinese ambassador for this generous contribution so that we could render the services effective and efficient here in the emergency department," he said. 

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