From recipient to donor: WFP photo show marks 30-year cooperation with China 2009-03-10 20:01:41   Print

    by Xinhua writer Wang Xiaopeng

    BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- "I am deeply touched," exclaimed Liang Ni, a white-collar employee of a foreign company, as she stood at the China World Trade Center here Tuesday.

    She was viewing a photo exhibit hosted by the UN World Food Program (WFP) with the theme "Defeat Hunger, Fight Poverty" to commemorate its cooperation with the Chinese government over the past 30 years.

    "If only I could bring my child here," she said, pointing to a picture of Drew Barrymore, WFP Ambassador against Hunger, distributing food to starving children in Kenya.

    Liang said her 3-year-old daughter was a little picky about her meals. Photos like those on show would teach the young girl to appreciate food, she said.

    The photo that moved Liang was one of more than 100 in three sections. One depicts the WFP's efforts to help China combat poverty and hunger from 1979 to 2005. The second shows Chinese assistance to other countries through the WFP since 2006, while the third portrays renowned Chinese gymnast Li Ning, who witnessed how the Chinese aid was delivered in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Africa last December.

    "I was attracted to Li Ning's picture," said college student Dong Jiajia, who added that she came to learn about the WFP and the many hungry children in Lesotho.

    With China's help, the WFP assisted 30 million people through 70 aid programs in the country, providing 4 million tonnes of food worth 1 billion U.S. dollars from 1979 to 2005.

    China has made cash donations to WFP since 1979 when their partnership began. Meanwhile, China agreed that the WFP should cease its free food aid to China in 2005.

    The following year, China began to increase its donations to the WFP and by 2008, the total amount hit 30 million U.S. dollars.

    "WFP is proud to have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the people and government of China," said Anthea Webb, director of the WFP's China Office, at the opening ceremony of the week-long exhibition last Tuesday.

    "The past 30 years have seen effective cooperation between the Chinese government and the WFP," said Yao Xiangjun, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Agriculture's international cooperation department. "China will continue to support the WFP's cause."

    Liang said she supported the government's effort. "Since China has grown better off, we should help the people who are in need."

    Samuel Olaiya, a businessman from Africa, hoped such exhibitions could prompt people to donate. "We should not only educate people, we should move people to do their part," he said.

    Countries also need to cooperate more in the field. As Premier Wen Jiabao has said: "If we have those poor mothers and their hungry babies crying for food on our mind, then there is no difference that we can not put aside and no obstacle that we can not surmount."

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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