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China developing sustainable solutions to hunger in Africa: WFP

(Xinhua)

09:06, July 19, 2012

BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- China is making considerable contributions to the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP) in implementing sustainable solutions to addressing hunger and poverty in Africa, WFP officials said in the Chinese capital on Wednesday.

China is helping to develop infrastructure in Africa, and is working with local governments to cope with many of the structural constraints hindering the continent's broader development, said Steven Were Omamo, WFP's representative to the African Union and UN Economic Commission for Africa.

"This has very strong impact on hunger and poverty," Omamo said, adding that China's work opens up considerable room for new kinds of partnership to pull in the private sector, non-government organizations and the international community to reduce hunger and poverty.

The world's largest hunger-fighting humanitarian agency is assisting African governments and communities to implement comprehensive, country-led hunger solutions programs. Currently, over 50 percent of the organization's assistance goes to Africa.

In 2011, half of the 99 million people assisted by the organization were in Africa.

"I think China offers some really good examples of how local communities, who are closet to the problems that they face, are able to define solutions for themselves," Omamo said.

According to Omamo, for the last several years, WFP has been implementing a new strategic direction in addressing hunger and poverty, the key element of which is to help countries and local communities to develop sustainable solutions to fighting hunger.

In this area, "there is a lot that China can teach and share from its own experience," he said. The Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in Beijing on Thursday and Friday.

Bishow B. Parajuli, WFP's director of government donor relations, said the forum is a very good platform to lead China's cooperation with Africa, as well as to carry out a "China-WFP-Africa" cooperation model.

"China is doing a lot of good work in Africa. It has a lot of bilateral programs there, and is trying to do even more. The FOCAC is one of the examples," said Parajuli.

Many African countries can benefit from the example of China's development model in areas such as addressing food insecurity, promoting agriculture development and providing disaster relief, he said. Parajuli also hailed China's generous donation to the drought-stricken horn of Africa region last year.

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