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U.N. ends food aid to China

Dec. 16, 2005 at 7:09 PM

BEIJING, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The United Nations World Food Program officially ends aid to China on Dec. 31 and wants the country to become a donor nation.

The agency's last shipment of food was delivered in April, Xinhua, the official government news agency reported. China has been receiving assistance for 26 years.

"Over the last 26 years, China has moved more than 300 million people out of poverty by its own standards," WFP executive director James Morris told reporters during a trip to Beijing.

Morris said China produces enough food to provide an average of 3,000 calories a day for its population, well above the world average.

While China has already provided assistance in specific emergencies -- such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and the recent earthquake in Kashmir -- Morris said the WFP hopes to negotiate an agreement that would make China an official stand-by nation.

"The world has a lot to learn from China's approach and commitment to the issue of hunger and poverty," said Morris. "It has one of the best processes for feeding hungry people. They know how."

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