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China joins UN to fight world hunger

By Wang Hui, Zheng Qi (People's Daily)

16:59, September 22, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

The U.N. World Food Program recently announced that it has established a strategic partnership with a Chinese enterprise. China's active contributions to tackling the world hunger issue have again attracted the attention of the outside world. Brett Rierson, director of the U.N. World Food Program China Office, has highly praised China's contributions in an interview with People's Daily.

China changes from recipient to donor in 30 years

Rierson said that it is still difficult to address the hunger issue because about 1 billion people in the world today still do not have access to sufficient food. Some developing countries have yet to meet the poverty alleviation targets set by the United Nations in its Millennium Development Goals. Frequent natural disasters and rising food prices have led to further deterioration in food security and malnutrition in these countries.

"However, China has made giant strides addressing the hunger issue," Rierson said. The progress made by China in term of addressing the hunger issue over the past three decades is undoubtedly more rapid and broad than that of any other country. No other country was able to end hunger for so many people within such a short period

China's successful experience: Huge contribution to world

According to Rierson, after making efforts and practicing for many years, China has accumulated abundant experience and technologies regarding the food issue during the process of solving its own food issue and alleviating its rural poverty. China's successful experience is an important contribution for solving the global starvation problem. The tenet of the World Food Program has significantly changed and turned into helping the target country establish and develop its own system for dealing with the starvation problem.

This significant change of the World Food Program on food aid is highly in accord with the principle that China has adhered to for a long time in offering aid. The principle is making the target country realize self-development by cooperating with it and meanwhile strengthening the development abilities of the target country's government and farmers.

Rierson believes that the key point that enabled China to solve its starvation problem successfully is that China found a way that is suitable for its own development. Compared to China, Africa's investment in the agriculture is much less, and that is why China has succeeded and Africa is still struggling to get enough food for its people.

China making active efforts to help eliminate poverty worldwide

Rierson said that China has become one of the largest donors to the WFP. In addition to annual donations, China has also made generous disaster relief donations to the WFP shortly after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the severe drought in the Horn of Africa and other major natural disasters.

The Chinese government responded quickly to the severe famine in the Horn of Africa, and its timely assistance to Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda and other countries in the region saved hundreds of thousands of lives. China will soon donate another 100 million yuan to the WFP to support the famine relief in Somalia.

China is playing an increasingly important role in global poverty reduction and international humanitarian affairs. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed at the U.N. High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in 2008 that donor nations should double their donations to the WFP in the next five years.

China, along with other emerging market economies, including Russia, Brazil, South Africa, and India, has been making active efforts to help eliminate poverty worldwide.

Rierson said that all men are created equal, and children worldwide should be protected from hunger. China is a strong supporter of the World Food Program in fighting hunger worldwide.

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