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China major player in fighting hunger: UNWFP


16:44, May 22, 2013

BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- A top official from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said Wednesday that China is capable of playing a major role in the global fight against hunger.

"China has made enormous progress in dealing with hunger and its experience can be learned by the whole world," WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said during her first visit to China as the agency's new chief.

WFP statistics show that one in three Chinese people experienced hunger in 1979, while less than one in ten suffer from hunger at the present time.

From 1979 to 2005, the Chinese government worked with the WFP to bring 30 million Chinese people out of poverty, according to the WFP.

"China used to be our largest program and has graduated," Cousin said.

The WFP announced a new partnership with the Hainan Airline Group, a leading China-based corporation, to fight hunger globally.

Hainan Airline agreed to donate 1.6 million U.S. dollars to help the WFP provide meals for schoolchildren in Ghana.

Cousin said she hopes more Chinese companies will participate in similar programs and that more individuals will make contributions to WFP programs.

UN Statistics show that about 870 million people currently suffer from malnutrition worldwide, with 852 million of them living in developing countries.

Cousin advocated the transition of aid strategies from relief to development following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2010 Pakistan flood and the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa.

Development programs can ensure that people can depend on themselves to battle hunger by utilizing commercial markets, she said.

The WFP is also looking for opportunities to launch programs focusing on women in China, according to Cousin.

"We look forward to learning more about what they need the WFP to do here in China," she said.

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