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Chinese charity pursues poverty alleviation drive in Africa

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong (People's Daily Online)    14:13, August 25, 2017

The school feeding programme in Ethiopia has in 18 months reduced dropout rates by 10 percent. Photo: Ethiopian News Agency

China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, CFPA, is only 28 years old, but is today one of the largest charities in China. It began its humanitarian relief and development work in China in 1989, providing disaster relief, healthcare, education support, micro-finance assistance and community development projects. It was until 2005 that CFPA went international by offering support to victims of the Indonesia Tsunami. The charity has since undertaken projects in 18 countries.

Spread activities in Africa

“We look forward to expanding our activities to 10 countries, including Africa,” Wu Peng, CFPA’s director of international development told 27 African journalists on August 24 in the humanitarian relief and development organisation’s head office in Beijing. The NGO now runs projects in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Wu Peng attributed the fast growth of his charity to lessons learnt from China’s targeted poverty alleviation programme that has lifted 700 million people out of misery since the start of the reform and opening up policy in 1978.

One-off donations

Concerning one-off gifts in Africa, CFPA donated 1 million RMB through the World Food Programme to victims of the recent deadly mudslide in Sierra Leone. In 2007 and 2011, CFPA donated maternal and infant medical equipment to Guinea Bissau. In 2010, it invited 20 NGO leaders from Sudan to participate in a workshop and field study in China. CFPA in August 2011 responded to the drought in the Horn of Africa and provided humanitarian aid.

In April 2010, CFPA organised training in China for Sudanese NGO and government officials. Photo: CFPA

Together with the World Food Programme and Tencent Company, CFPA in 2014 responded promptly to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by raising 1.21 million RMB. This broke the Guinness World Records of the largest numbers of donations (105,803 times) within 24 hours.

School feeding programmes

In partnership with Ye Enat Weg Charitable Association, CFPA provides free breakfast and lunch to Ethiopian public school children from poor families. Covering 42 schools and over 4,000 beneficiaries, the programme has reduced dropout rates by 10 percent in 18 months; while regular school attendance has increased significantly. Moreover, beneficiary children have experienced physical and psychological improvements, in addition to increased academic scores.

CFPA also made donations to survivors to the recent mudslide in Sierra Leone that claimed hundreds of lives. Photo: Sierra Leone press

Providing water, healthcare

CFPA and the Chinese heavy-duty truck manufacturer, XCMG, are drilling 41 boreholes in six rural villages on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. On the other hand, CFPA constructed the Sudan-China Abu Usher Friendship Hospital and also offered assistance for the maternal and infant healthcare system. Together with a Sudanese civil society organization, Al-Birr Al Tawasul (BTO), it runs a school feeding programme for over 3,600 pupils. CFPA last year donated 2.4 million RMB to BTO to extend the successful programmme to the rest of the country.

African journalists listen keenly to explanations on CFPA's poverty alleviation efforts in China and in 18 countries. Photo: CAPC

*Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, a contributor to People’s Daily Online, is Sub-Editor for World News with Cameroon Tribune bilingual daily newspaper in Cameroon. He is currently a 2017 China-Africa Press Centre, CAPC fellow. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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