BRAZZAVILLE (Reuters) - China will donate 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Congo Republic and forgive $13 million in public debt, its ambassador to the Central African country said on Thursday.
Ambassador Ma Fulin announced the measures after a meeting with Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso. He did not say which Chinese-developed vaccine would be provided.
The doses are enough to vaccinate 50,000 of Congo’s 5.1 million people. Congo, which has recorded 8,060 infections and 122 coronavirus-related deaths, has been allocated 420,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine for the first half of this year under the global COVAX vaccine-sharing facility.
As lower income countries struggle to obtain doses, China is aiming to cultivate goodwill through so-called vaccine diplomacy. It said on Monday that it was providing vaccine aid to 13 countries globally and planned to help a further 38.
Ma said the Chinese government would also forgive all public Congolese debt that came due before the end of 2020, an estimated $13 million. China offered similar relief to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo last month.
Reporting by Christian Elion; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Alexandra Hudson
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.