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Poverty reduction efforts praised
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07:49, October 18, 2007

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The United Nations chief and heads of development organizations yesterday pledged more succor to the world's poorest and praised China's achievements in poverty reduction.

"Poverty reduction in the world is in progress, but it is the least progressing, or slowest, among those poorest, said Joachim von Braun, director general of International Food Policy Research Institute.

He hailed China as the best example, given its rapid progress in poverty reduction since the 1980s.

"China has lifted more than 200 million people out of poverty," the director said in an interview with China Daily during the "Taking Action for the World's Poor and Hungry People" conference in Beijing.

"It is a record that has never been achieved in the world."

China is one of a few countries to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - eradication of hunger and halving the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day by 2015.

Von Brown attributed the country's success to agriculture development, which is the key to long-term success of poverty reduction.

Agriculture, agreed Lennart Bage, president of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is very important to poverty reduction, yet has been neglected for too long and not enough has been invested.

"We need more attention and more investment putting agriculture on top of the agenda for poverty reduction, food production and for climate change."

Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, vice-president of the Asian Development Bank, said China's rapid growth has contributed largely to declining poverty in Asia.

"Asia is the fastest growing region in the world, and yet if specific actions are not taken, there will be many people falling behind, not being able to benefit from growth."

In the global picture, the scorecard is mixed, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said in his message on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day has fallen, and we remain on track to meet the MDG of halving extreme poverty, he said.

But progress has been uneven, and some regions - particularly sub-Saharan Africa - are not on track to redeem even a single one of our grand promises, he added.

Speaking on China's role in contributing to the world, Serge Abou, European Union Ambassador to China, said it is good that the country is involved in Africa because China has achieved a lot of success in this field.

Source: China Daily

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