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The Chinese government has donated $3 million to the flood relief efforts in Sri Lanka, an official said.

“China and Sri Lanka are good friends and neighbours. The Chinese government is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan people and government,” Xinhua quoted Deputy Head of Mission Ren Faqiang as saying at the Chinese Embassy Friday.

Torrential rains triggered floods in late December that swept over many parts of the island nation, killing over 30.

The state-run Disaster Management Center said nearly 800,000 people were affected while about 80,000 displaced people had to be housed in shelters.

President Maithripala Sirisena, who was sworn in Jan 9, appointed a 27-member cabinet earlier this week with Public Peace, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga assuming duties Friday.

“We must work to be prepared for disasters of this magnitude. I thank the Chinese government for its assistance and continued support in Sri Lanka’s times of need,” Amaratunga said during his first speech as minister.