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China Launches Massive Global COVID-19 Aid Campaign in Africa

China's Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zhu Jing, hands over a donation of supplies to fight the spread of COVID-19 to representatives of the World Health Organization. Image via WHO.

Over the past several days China has rapidly escalated relief efforts in Africa and elsewhere around the world to help governments to contain the spread of COVID-19. Chinese state-run media outlets, official social media accounts and third-party media partners across Africa (see below) are flooded with stories and images about the recent surge in Chinese donations of badly-needed medical equipment, money and technical expertise.

Highlights of China’s Recent Relief Efforts in Africa

  • PERSONNEL: Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, revealed that Chinese doctors with frontline experience battling COVID-19 from the epicenter in Wuhan are now working directly with Kenyan health professionals. “This is an extremely important step in terms of knowledge share. They gave us a tremendous amount of knowledge which we believe will go a long way in helping our people,” Kagwe stated in a press conference. (KENYANS.CO.KE)
  • SUPPLIES: The Chinese government re-directed 66 tons of supplies in the DRC that were originally intended to be used to fight Ebola and will now instead be distributed to health centers battling the spread of COVID-19. (WHO DRC TWITTER)
  • CONSULTING: In partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control, Chinese health advisors convened a first-ever video conference sessions with health leaders from 20 African countries on Wednesday (AFRICA CDC TWITTER)

It’s important to note that China’s relief campaign is not specifically focused on helping developing countries but also advanced economies in Europe and elsewhere. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok where offers of Chinese aid were also extended.

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