UN hails project to help poor
( 2003-09-28 00:37) (China Daily)
United Nations officials Sunday highly praised the active role that China's private enterprises play in alleviating poverty around the country through the Guangcai Programme.
Frederick C. Dubee, senior adviser at the UN secretary-general's Global Compact Executive Office, said in Beijing yesterday: "The programme is a very good example of how non-governmental businesses aid the poor successfully under the leadership of government.''
The UN representative said Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on enterprises around the world to help improve the social and human environment and there have been responses to the call around the world, especially in China.
Dubee was addressing the International Conference on Poverty Alleviation, which was jointly sponsored by the China Society for Promoting the Guangcai Programme and the United Nations Development Programme.
Initiated by private entrepreneurs in 1994, the Guangcai Programme aims to provide financing for China's poverty-stricken regions in their struggle to improve conditions there.
The programme gained consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council in 2000, becoming the fifth Chinese non-governmental organization to gain such consultative status with the global organization.
Khalid Malik, UN Development Programme representative in China, yesterday said no government on its own could solve all problems related to poverty.
He said poverty relief is not only a social responsibility for enterprises but also represents business opportunities for them.
By the end of September, the programme had distributed 52.4 billion yuan (US$6.3 billion) through 9,765 projects, with nearly 4.6 million people benefiting.
The programme has been funded by 14,407 entrepreneurs from the Chinese mainland, the Taiwan Province and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.
Gao Hongbin, vice-chairman of the State Council Leading Group for Poverty Reduction and Development said that, by 2010, the central government plans to have completed its plan to improve the lives of approximately 28 million rural people who currently live in extreme poverty without adequate food or clothing.
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