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China Teams Up with UN Food Agencies, African Nations To End World Poverty and Hunger

June 14, 2018 (EIRNS)—An international event was held in Rome last week, co-sponsored by two Chinese anti-poverty agencies and three UN food and agriculture organizations, to focus on collaboration to succeed worldwide in the first two goals of “Agenda 2030,” to end poverty and to end hunger by that year, in the objective called the UN Sustainable Development 2030 Goals (SDG). A joint statement was released, on strengthening the partnership among the agencies.

This June 6-8 Rome meeting, which also involved high-level participation from four African countries—Chad, Kenya, Senegal and Ghana—launched a campaign to gather poverty-reduction case studies from around the world, for availability through an easy-access database set up by China in 2017, called the “Global Poverty Reduction Online Knowledge Sharing Database.” A new book was released, The Way Forward; Stories of Poverty Reduction in China.

The co-sponsors of the forum were: UN agencies Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and World Food Program (WFP); plus the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) and the China Internet Information Center (CIIC).

The Rome event followed one on May 23 in Beijing, called the 2018 China Poverty Reduction International Forum, which also included the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other entities in attendance. The latest figures on China’s poverty reduction, given at the May event, state, as reported by CGTN: “A total of 55.64 million Chinese rural residents were lifted out of poverty from 2013 to 2016, and at least another 10 million will shake off poverty this year, meaning the number of rural Chinese lifted out of poverty in five years will exceed 65 million—roughly the population of a major European country such as Britain, France or Italy.” The Beijing meeting launched a prize for outstanding cases of success, titled, the “Global Solicitation and Challenge Prize on Best Poverty Reduction Practices.”

These meetings and initiatives show the efforts by China to move outward with its anti-poverty success. Regarding rural agriculture and income improvement, China’s record stands apart from the fake anti-poverty programs characterizing the 2000-2015 years of the UN Millennial Development Goals—crafted by the British Foreign Office, when various kinds of measures were promoted, to serve the pre-existing City of London/Wall Street monetary and trade system which impoverished people in the first place. At core, these cynical programs usually involved connecting local farmers to “world markets,” by hitching their efforts to a “value chain,” which, in practice, mostly meant exploitation. For example, after the January 2010 Caribbean earthquake, “aid” programs connected mango farmers in Haiti, to supply cheap mango pulp to Coca Cola for trendy fruit drink sales in the U.S. and Europe. Haiti was left impoverished.

In contrast, the Chinese anti-poverty programs in rural areas involve providing transportation, electricity, water, housing improvement, and identifying how to either upgrade existing crop production, or introduce new crops more suitable for the area, and/or offer relocation. In the course of this, provision is made for better health care, education and cultural activities.

Speakers at the Rome workshop reviewed the scope

of the Chinese success, and what now must be done internationally. “Over the past 40 years, China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty, accounting for over 70% of poverty reduction globally. China has set a target to eliminate the remaining rural poverty by 2020, a decade ahead of UN’s goal,”

CGTN reported June 6.

Addressing the global challenge, FAO Deputy Director General for Programs Daniel Gustafson said, “Some 703 million people continue to live in extreme poverty ... and the number of chronically food-insecure people was 815 million in 2016, up from 777 million in 2015.”

China’s international activities against poverty and hunger to date were reviewed by Niu Dun, Chinese Ambassador to the FAO.

“Up to now, we have sent more than 1,000 experts and technicians to Africa, Asia, South Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean to help countries improve their food security.”

Niu said that the framework for collaboration comes from the FAO South-South and Triangular Cooperation programs.

Representatives from each African country participating gave specifics on their nation’s activities.

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