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WFP has welcomed China’s first donation

WFP has welcomed China’s first donation of US $1.75 million since its graduation from food aid at the end of last year.

WFP has welcomed China’s first donation of US $1.75 million since its graduation from food aid at the end of last year.

WFP has welcomed China’s first donation of US $1.75 million since its graduation from food aid at the end of last year.

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

WFP’s Executive Director, James Morris

The contribution -- made in cash and without conditions -- will fund some of WFP’s most critical operations around the globe.

Since 2000 the Chinese government has committed nearly US$11 million for WFP’s work elsewhere in the world, the bulk of the funding going to Africa.

Unprecendented summit

Tomorrow, heads of state and other senior officials from 48 African countries are due to arrive in Beijing for an unprecedented summit.

“We are extremely grateful for China’s support. This kind of donation gives us maximum flexibility to get food to the people most in need, in the shortest time possible,” said WFP’s Executive Director, James Morris.

After 26 years tackling poverty and hunger with the Chinese government in the country, WFP phased out its food aid programmes in China at the end of 2005, in recognition of the fact that the country attained overall food self-sufficiency in the 1990s.

Steadfast commitment

The number of undernourished people in China dropped by some 50 million between 1990 and 2000.

“China’s story proves that hunger is a curable problem,” Morris said. “And the Government’s steadfast commitment to continue to improve the lives of poor Chinese in rural areas sends a strong signal to the rest of the world that hunger is unacceptable in the 21st century.”

Hunger-free world

The world’s most populous country and the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency have since been seeking ways to strengthen their decades-old partnership that reflects the shared vision of a hunger-free world.

Last year, China emerged as the world’s third largest donor of food aid.

“Unfortunately, China’s massive success in reducing hunger has not been repeated in many other countries," said Morris.

Number of hungry rising

"Worldwide 850 million people around the world continue to suffer from chronic hunger and the number is actually rising by 4 million a year. That is hard to understand, especially when our planet is wealthier than ever, and produces more than enough food to feed everyone,” Morris added.

“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.

Partnership

In addition to supplying food aid to needy countries through WFP, the government and WFP have been working on the establishment of a standby partnership to take full advantage of the exemplary rapid response mechanisms to natural disasters that China, frequently afflicted by drought, flooding and earthquakes, has developed.

WFP is also exploring the possibilities of developing China as a procurement center for goods and services, making greater use of the country’s competitive shipping fleet, and employing more of its nationals.

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