March 10, 2012
VIENTIANE, March 9 (Xinhua) — The Chinese government provided two million renminbi (about 320,000 U.S. dollars) worth of disaster relief materials to assist Lao victims of last year’s flooding at a handover ceremony here on Friday.
“I, on behalf of the Chinese government, officially hands over this relief package to the Lao government to help people in disaster-affected villages throughout the country rebuild their homes,” Chinese Ambassador to Laos Bu Jianguo said at the ceremony, which was attended by Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Douangchay Phichit and other high level officials.
The Chinese government provided this grant assistance to the Lao government, representing the deepening friendship between the two countries and peoples, Bu added.
Lao Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Onechanh Thammavong said that last year Laos was hit by two severe tropical storms, Haima and Nock-Ten, which devastated large parts of the country.
Onechanh spoke highly of the friendly relations between Laos and China, and expressed deep thanks to the Chinese government for this latest generous donation of building supplies and other equipment.
More than 430,000 people in 1,790 villages in Laos’ 12 provinces suffered from the two tropical storms during the second half of 2011, with 42 people killed in the flooding, according to the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social, .
The overall economic losses were estimated at more than 200 million U.S. dollars, as some critical infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools and health facilities were all terribly damaged, along with people’s houses, crops and livestock.