Mon, 11 Dec 2023

VIENTIANE, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- A launching ceremony for China contributing food and nutrition assistance, through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), to school children in Laos was held here Tuesday.

As the first Global Development Initiative (GDI) project in Laos, around 930 tons of rice and 120 tons of canned fish are to be procured by the WFP with the support of China's Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund for lunches of some 130,000 students in 1,400 primary schools of Laos' eight provinces, a press release from the Chinese embassy in Laos said on Wednesday.

The ceremony was inaugurated by Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in Laos, Counselor Xiang Fangqiang, and Lao Minister of Education and Sports Phout Simmalavong.

The Chinese embassy's press release quoted Xiang as saying that, the GDI, an open and inclusive global public good, focuses on deepening international development cooperation, helps implement the 2030 Development Agenda, and is committed to solving the most pressing issues developing countries confront.

"China will work closely with the Lao government and WFP, as well as other development partners to implement this GDI project, which will elevate international exchanges and cooperation to a new level and inject new impetus into the advancement of the 2030 Agenda, building a Laos-China community with a shared future and a global community of development with a shared future," Xiang said.

Simmalavong said: "The food contribution from the Chinese government is crucial at this moment. It will contribute to increasing nutrition and filling gaps in students' lunches. This also demonstrates the long-term friendship between our parties and governments as well as between the people of Laos and China."

"We thank the government of China for helping WFP build greater resilience and sustainability of the national school meals program. Already, WFP's school feeding has benefited from contributions from the Chinese private sector, and with this first contribution from the government in recent years, we look forward to continuing our partnership to reach the most vulnerable children with vital food and nutrition support in Laos," said Jan Delbaere, WFP country director and representative.

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