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Battle to Conquer Poverty Continues

Despite leading the world in relieving poverty, China is still facing challenges, an official from the China State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOP) has said.

"A widening income gap and an emerging number of poor migrant workers are new difficulties," Wu Zhong, director of the department of international affairs at LGOP, said.

These new factors are creating an additional problem for those fighting to reduce the number of poor people in China, which has an estimated 21.48 million people living in poverty.

To address the issue, China will host an international conference on helping the world's poor and hungry people, in Beijing on October 17-19.

The meeting is intended to share the country's experiences in dealing with the problem as well as seek policy solutions, Wu said.

Joint hosts include the International Food Policy Research Institute, the International Poverty Reduction Center in China, and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

The three-day conference coincides with the Fifteenth International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, on October 17.

More than 400 delegates from 50 countries will attend the meeting, including governments, international agencies, NGOs and academics.

China's State Council leader and LGOP Director Fan Xiaojian, International Food Policy Research Institute Director General Joachim Von Braun, and President of International Fund for Agricultural Development Lennart Bage will address the opening ceremony.

China is the only country so far to have realized the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals that commit to halving the number of people in poverty.

The number of Chinese living in poverty has declined from 250 million in 1978 to 21.48 million in 2006.

(China Daily September 29, 2007)

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