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China’s Ministry of Finance and KfW have signed an agreement for a grant of €10mn to finance measures in the fight against Sars. The funds, which KfW will <

  • xml:namespace prefix = st1 /> admin ister on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will be used to purchase urgently needed x-ray equipment and respirators as well as protective clothing to help contain the spread of Sars. The first shipments of emergency equipment from Germany are expected to arrive in Beijing as early as tomorrow and are to be used in the Chinese capital, in Shanxi and Inner Mongolia . The agreement was concluded only one week after China asked the German government for important equipment at short notice in the fight against the lung disease.

    “As the Sars epidemic is spreading fast in China it is now particularly important to have enough x-ray units and respirators for diagnosis and optimal treatment. Protective clothing is also needed for medical staff, who are at risk of infection. With the many years of intensive cooperation we have had with China it is possible for us to help quickly in this precarious situation”, says Wolfgang Kroh, member of KfW’s board of managing directors.

    KfW has been supporting China for several years in improving the public health system and equipping hospitals within the framework of financial cooperation. €115mn has already been made available. Part of these funds will now be used to supply public health authorities and hospitals with medical equipment such as laboratory and x-ray equipment in six underdeveloped provinces which from now on will also play an important role in diagnosing Sars.

    KfW has been active in the framework of financial cooperation with China since 1985; since then it has committed nearly €2.2bn from funds of the BMZ. In addition to the health sector KfW is also cooperating in the areas of transport, environmental protection, sanitation/solid waste and in the financial sector.