UN official: Beijing can help fight poverty

Updated: 2011-10-18 08:53

By Li Lianxing and Zhang Yunbi (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China can play a rebalancing role in the current global financial crisis to combat future global poverty, a senior United Nations official said on Monday.

Helen Clark, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) administrator, said one of the greatest challenges to eliminating poverty is to avert a global recession.

"China's domestic demand needs to go up to rely less on exporting. In the rebalancing, China has to import more," she said.

Clark also said China's successful experience in development and lifting people out of poverty could be shared with other less developed countries, although there is not a "Beijing Model" to export.

To combat poverty, a multilateral platform is vital. The UNDP has to have a good relationship with traditional donor countries in the development system. "The development is not just about money and dollars. It's about sharing experiences," she said.

"As China strives to achieve even more impressive human development outcomes through its renewed emphasis on the quality of growth, it will also be setting an example for the world," she said.

Inclusive growth is vital in reducing poverty, inequality and human development, such as stimulating the economic sectors where the poor work to generate employment, investing in infrastructure and services in the areas where the poor live and, in particular, increasing access to safe water, sanitation and reliable energy in those areas.

"Although there are rich natural resources in some countries little money or profit goes back to local economy," she said, adding that the government should use growth for human development purposes.

UN official: Beijing can help fight poverty

"So many countries with rich resources failed in explorations and turning them into human development. We have to see this as great wealth for future human development, rather than a curse," she told China Daily.

"In this respect, developed and developing countries have a big possibility to cooperate with each other," she added.

She said the UNDP is working closely with China to share good practices on poverty reduction and the experiences of expanding opportunities and reducing inequality. It will work with the Chinese government to promote social inclusion for migrant workers and their families, and to enhance women's inclusion in the labor market.

Clark came to China to attend the 2011 Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum, which was hosted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China and the UN System in China. It is the fifth time that this global annual event has been held in China.

Clark said that while enormous progress has been made globally, particularly in East Asia, nearly a quarter of the world is missing out on the benefits and that 1.44 billion people are still living on less than $1.25 a day.