WFP turns to China for help
( 2003-12-22 09:47) (China Daily by Zhao Huanxin)
The United Nations (UN) food agency says it needs China's experience and expertise to help fight global hunger.
"China has lifted several hundred million people out of poverty in less than a generation. That is an extraordinary achievement," said visiting UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director James Morris.
Expressing congratulations to the Chinese Government for its "remarkable success," Morris said his agency is seeking to forge a new, mutually rewarding relationship with China that reflects "our shared vision of a world free of hunger."
About 850 million people around the world suffer from chronic malnutrition, probably half of them children, according to Morris.
Since 1979, the WFP has provided 70 volunteer food aid programmes to China, costing US$925 million.
The UN agency plans to phase out assistance to the country by the end of 2005, given China attained overall food self-sufficiency in the mid-1990s - though there are still pockets of need, WFP sources say.
"China simply doesn't need us today as it did 25 years ago, and that's something to celebrate," Morris said at the weekend. "Our objective wherever we work is to work ourselves out of a job."
Morris told China Daily the WFP wants to find ways to take advantage of the technical skills that China has both in its ability to reduce hunger and poverty and in its agricultural production methods.
He said the WFP was especially interested in any advice China could offer in relation to responding to natural disasters that provoke sudden food shortages.
China has "great experience" in responding to emergencies, earthquakes, droughts and floods, he said.
Morris said China has been helpful in the WFP's work around the world. Since 2000, it has committed almost US$5 million for WFP programmes around the globe.
China has special insights, relationships and experience with many of the places that the WFP works and can play a very important role in addressing some of the tough issues, Morris said.
"We want technical help from China," he said. "We want to employ more Chinese people in our programmes all over the world.
"We intend to buy more food from China. We've spent about US$20 million buying food and services in China this year and we hope that will grow.
"As China becomes a more prosperous economy, we want China to become one of our major financial partners."
In his meeting with Morris on Friday, Chinese Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu praised the WFP's role in China's agricultural development and poverty reduction.
|.contact us |.about us|
|Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved|