by Eric J. Lyman and Wang Xingqiao
ROME, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Josette Sheeran, executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program (WFP), said on the eve of her visit to China that China's success in beating hunger gives hope for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Sheeran will leave for China on Thursday as part of an Asian trip scheduled to include stops in Japan, South Korea, and the DPRK.
She said she is eager to witness the dramatic growth in China that helped transform the world's most populous country from a recipient of food aid to a key ally in the worldwide battle against hunger.
To achieve the MDGs, which include halving the number of hungry people worldwide by 2015, the world's remaining poor countries could learn from success stories like China's, Sheeran believed.
The MDGs, set in 2000, have been agreed upon by all 192 United Nations member states and some 23 international organizations, including the WFP.
"We know that China, for example, used to be one of the WFP's biggest programs, and today it actually helps support us to fight against hunger in other countries," Sheeran said in a joint interview with Chinese media.
"We think this kind of transformation shows essential progress, even though the number of hungry in the world is very dramatic and needs urgent attention," said Sheeran, a former U.S. under-secretary of state for economic, business, and agricultural affairs.
Sheeran and the WFP have increased their profile in recent weeks, as the organization seeks to call attention to the plight of the world's estimated 925 million hungry people.
In a statement from earlier in October, Sheeran outlined 10 key ingredients needed to combat world hunger, namely the use of humanitarian aid, providing food through schools, focusing on nutrition for the youngest children, developing food safety nets in poor countries, helping poor farmers get their products to markets, empowering women on a local level, relying more on technology, making communities more resilient, building partnerships, and increasing political will.