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Swiss join donors of aid for China

The Swiss authorities have pledged SFr400,000 ($379,650) in aid for the victims of the earthquake in China's southwestern Sichuan province.

This content was published on May 15, 2008 - 18:54

In a letter to the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, the Swiss government promised assistance at very short notice.

Swiss President Pascal Couchepin also expressed his sympathy for the victims of the tremor which killed at least 20,000 people.

The Swiss aid, which is part of a worldwide effort, comes after Beijing published a list of urgently needed goods on Thursday.

The foreign ministry in Bern said the funds - provided by the government and the Swiss Red Cross - will be used to buy tents, blankets, water containers and other first aid items.

The ministry has also been financing a training programme in China for up to 30 instructors on search and rescue methods.

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