Brussels, 16 May 2008
Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: "The EU stands by China in this hour of grief. We want to express our solidarity with the Chinese people not just in words but also in deeds. The € 2 million released by the European Commission will contribute to bring vital items to the survivors of this terrible earthquake. "
The funds will be used to help meet the basic needs of the stricken population which include tents and blankets, clean drinking water, food, jerry cans, kitchen sets and medical assistance.
The funding will be channelled through the International Red Cross Federation and other partner agencies experienced in relief operations. A Commission humanitarian expert is currently in the earthquake zone and is co-operating with the Red Cross and the local authorities.