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China provides 256.29 billion yuan in foreign aid

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China had provided a total of 256.29 billion yuan in aid to foreign countries by the end of 2009, a white paper on foreign aid says.

According the white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council, the aid includes 106.2 billion yuan in grants, 76.54 billion yuan interest-free loans and 73.55 billion yuan in concessional loans.

In the financial resources provided by China, grants are mainly used to help recipient countries to build hospitals, schools and low-cost houses and support well-digging or water-supply, and other projects for social welfare as well as in the fields of human resources development cooperation, technical cooperation, assistance in kind and emergency humanitarian aid.

Currently, the interest-free loans are mainly provided to developing countries with relatively good economic conditions to construct public facilities and launch projects to improve people's livelihood, the white paper says.

Of China's concessional loans, 61 percent are used to help developing countries to construct transportation, communications and electricity infrastructure, and 8.9 percent are used to support the development of energy and resources such as oil and minerals.

By the end of 2009, China had provided concessional loans to 76 foreign countries, supporting 325 projects, of which 142 had been completed.

The concessional loans are raised by the Export-Import Bank of China on the market, with the loan interest lower than the benchmark interest of the People's Bank of China, the central bank.

China's foreign aid expenditure is part of the state expenditure, under the unified management of the Ministry of Finance in its budgets and final accounts system, according to the white paper.

The Ministry of Commerce and other departments under the State Council draw up a budget for foreign aid each year and submit it to the Ministry of Finance for examination and then to the State Council and the National People's Congress for approval and implementation.

Contents of foreign aid policy, forms, distribution and management, as well as international cooperation in foreign aid are also included in the white paper.

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