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UN to Get More Food Aid from China

China is considering gradually increasing its food aid to other developing countries through the UN, a senior official said Monday. 

Chinese government is becoming an increasingly greater support for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), said Ye Anping, director of the Ministry of Agriculture's international cooperation department. 

China has donated millions of dollars since entering WFP in 1979. "There is an obvious growth of annual donations from China to WFP's international operations programs," WFP public affairs officer Annabel Wang said.

"As one of the largest countries in the world and a role model in the fight against hunger and poverty, China is uniquely placed to help WFP tackle some tough problems. "

China was the third largest food donor in 2005, the year the WFP stopped providing aid to the country because of its dramatic economic and agricultural development that rendered outside help unnecessary.

"China can now feed its own people," Wang said. The WFP has provided US$1 billion worth of food to China in the past 28 years.

"Though China is still a developing country with about 300 million people living below the international poverty line, it is willing to support the poor outside its borders," Ye said.

China accounted for more than half of the overall increase in food donations in 2005, with a whopping 260 percent increase, according to the annual Food Aid Monitor of the International Food Aid Information System.

"The Chinese story tells us that strong political commitment combined with diligence and dynamism of the people can defeat hunger and poverty," she said.

As a disaster-prone country with about 20 percent of the world's population but only about 7 percent of its arable land, China has gained exemplary expertise in poverty alleviation.

"We want to take what China has learned about fighting hunger and poverty and make it available to countries that aren't moving as quickly yet."

(China Daily December 18, 2007)

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