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IFAD president: China achieves remarkable success in poverty alleviation
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21:12, October 12, 2007

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The Chinese government has made remarkable success in its poverty alleviation drive in recent years, says the head of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

China, a fast-growing country which has been experiencing tremendous changes, is an active member of the IFAD, Lennart Bage, president of the Rome-based specialized agency of the United Nations, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

In the past 30 years, China has made rapid progress in poverty alleviation and development, and it now ranks first among all IFAD members in terms of combined efficiency, said the IFAD president, who has been to China several times since 1980.

Bage said that every time he visited China, he was impressed bythe great changes taking place in the country, not only urban areas, but also in rural areas.

On the question as to what influence China's agricultural development would have on the world's food security, Bage said that when he began to engage himself in the agricultural sector in the 1970-80's, he was aware that China, with limited arable land resources, managed to provide its large population with sufficient food and clothing, which in itself is a great contribution to the world's food security.

The IFAD and China began their cooperation in 1981, and the two sides have carried out a large number of cooperation projects since then.

The IFAD now maintains cooperation with China at different levels, including that with Chinese government officials and experts, he added.

The IFAD has until now 20 loan projects in China, most of which are in remote mountainous areas, said the IFAD president, adding that as a result of the fruitful cooperation between the two sides, the livelihood of the population living in poverty in some parts of China has been improved and their income increased.

But China is also faced with some problems and challenges in its agricultural development drive, such as those of narrowing the development gaps in different regions and tackling climate change, Bage said.

The proportion of the population living in poverty in China has dropped dramatically, which marks an important step forward in its poverty elimination efforts, he said, expressing the confidence that China will achieve still greater success in further eliminating poverty and tackling relevant challenges in the future.


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