Africa: China Has Walked the Talk to Help Refugees, Migrants – Zambian Experts

Experts in Zambia have welcomed China’s latest move to further promote international humanitarian causes.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a UN summit in New York on Monday that China will provide 100 million U.S. dollars in additional humanitarian aid to help solve problems brought about by massive movement of refugees and migrants.

It was “heartening” to hear the Chinese leader’s pledge of contribution to help refugees and migrants who are fleeing their countries in the Middle East and Africa, said Dr Vernon Mwaanga, Zambia’s former foreign affairs minister and ambassador to the UN, in an interview with Xinhua.

“This is commendable and consistent with Chinese government policy of helping people who are in distress all over the world,” said Mwaanga.

“China has walked the talk, by doing something practical” to help these people,” he added.

The refugee and migrant problem being witnessed in Europe was unprecedented since the end of World War Two and requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, said Mwaanga.

The Southern Africa Center for the Construction of Disputes (SACCORD), an organization involved in conflict management in the region, also commended China’s move.

“We welcome the announcement by China and we believe that this will go a long way in dealing with the problem of refugees and migrants who have been displaced due to wars in certain parts of the country,” said SACCORD director Boniface Chembe to Xinhua.

“We would like other big powers to emulate China and do more in order to deal with the problem of migrants which has become a global phenomenon,” said Chembe.

The director said that enhanced cooperation to address the problem of mass movement of migrants and refugees was required in order to find lasting solutions to the problem.

China’s call for enhanced international cooperation should be supported by all concerned countries, said Chembe.

China, he said, has been a good supporter of humanitarian works in the world.

Even during the period when it had challenges of its own, the Asian nation was keen to support others in humanitarian needs, said Chembe, citing the example of its financial support for the construction of a joint railway line between Tanzania and Zambia in the 1970s.

Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.