U.N.: China to help World Food Program

Dec. 14, 2004 at 12:32 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The U.N. World Food Program and China have reached agreement to combat global hunger with increased Chinese funding and expertise.

"Having lifted 300 million of its own people out of poverty in less than a generation -- surely one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century -- China has now pledged to commit more of its considerable resources to helping us help those in desperate need elsewhere," WFP Executive Director James Morris said in Beijing Tuesday.

"We are very grateful for these vital and timely undertakings, and look forward to developing a long-term, mutually rewarding partnership that reflects our shared vision of a world free of hunger," he said at the end of a five-day visit Tuesday. Morris met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.

In addition to a promise of increased Chinese funding, both sides are working on an agreement that would make China's expertise and talent available to strengthen WFP's capacity to respond to sudden food emergencies. Frequently afflicted by natural disasters such as flooding, drought and earthquakes, China has developed capabilities to manage the consequences, the agency said.

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