Home>News Center>China

WFP: Country aiding fight agaist world hunger
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-14 21:51

A leading United Nations humanitarian official yesterday said his agency needs China's expertise and resources to help combat global hunger.

UN World Food Programme Executive Director James Morris also said his agency plans to phase out food assistance to China next year.

Morris said China has scored one of the greatest feats of the 20th century: having lifted 300 million of its own people from poverty in less than a generation.

"I'm here to congratulate the government of China, and here to say thank you for the growing support -- China provided support approaching US$25 million for the WFP last year -- for our work here and elsewhere around the world," he said.

The WFP chief made the remarks at the end of a five-day visit to China, in which he met with Premier Wen Jiabao and traveled to the northwestern province of Gansu.

"China has had more experience removing people from poverty and hunger than any other country in the world or in the history of mankind," he said. "I believe given the Chinese experience we have as much to learn from China as China has to learn from us."

Among many things, the WFP chief said he expected to have more Chinese nationals joining its efforts to reduce hunger and poverty throughout the world and to make use of China's "great deal of expertise" in dealing with natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and landslides.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao yesterday said China will, based on its own capacity and conditions, gradually increase its donations to the WFP, and will join the agency's efforts in eliminating world poverty.

China has been an increasingly strong supporter of WFP's work at home and abroad, according to a statement from the WFP Beijing office.

This year China committed US$20 million to support the agency's programme in China and also pledged US$1.25 million for WFP operations elsewhere, the statement aid.

There are currently 852 million hungry people in the world, more than 300 million of which are children, Morris said.

"The Chinese Government knows this most compelling of global problems can be solved because it has been addressed so impressively here," Morris said.

The WFP has been working in China for 25 years, and has provided food assistance for about 35 million people.

"Clearly this is a place that no longer needs the operational engagement of World Food Programme on a daily basis," Morris said. "China has made great progress and has a lot to give to the rest of the world right now."

But Tang Shengyao, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, said the country still needs appropriate international aid to help tackle its poverty woes.

In 2003, the number of Chinese people without adequate food and clothing stood at 29 million, official statistics indicated.

Despite the planned halt of WFP development aid operations in China in 2005, channels will remain open for China to receive assistance from the WFP in case of emergencies, according to Tang.

Yi Xiaozhun, assistant minister of commerce, last week said China still needs more international assistance to relieve poverty, to address health issues and the AIDS epidemic.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Target jobless rate to see first drop after years



Party school raises AIDS awareness



Mass entries vie for 2008 Olympic mascot



Vanuatu's one-China policy praised



Iraq war crimes trials to begin next week



Fed raises US interest rate to 2.25%


  Faina Chiang dies at 88 in Taipei
  Taiwan separatist push exacerbates tension
  Hunan coal mine mishap kills 18
  Vanuatu's one-China policy praised
  Cash sought from vessels over spill
  WFP: Country aiding fight agaist world hunger
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
UN makes urgent appeal for DPRK food aid
WFP turns to China for help
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008