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UN officials: Targeted poverty reduction is the only way to achieve SDGs,October 19, 2017 Adjust font size:

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened on Wednesday morning in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a keynote address that quickly won plaudits as a panoramic blueprint for national development over the next five years and beyond.

China’s war on poverty will help the last 44 million people out of poverty by 2020. Many UN officials hail China’s poverty reduction efforts and believe that targeted measures are the only solution to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent a message to the Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum held in Beijing on October 9, saying that targeted poverty reduction strategies are the only way to achieve the ambitious targets set out in the 2030 Agenda.

He believes that China’s continued efforts to address its remaining challenges, and its model of inclusive development, will continue to reduce the numbers of those living in poverty and help address the serious disparities between rich and poor, rural and urban, and the coast and the interior.

During an exclusive interview with, UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Tegegnework Gettu said China has been exemplary in its meticulous approach to eradicating poverty.

“That [targeted] approach is based on practical experimentation. So it has been tested very well -- mistakes have been made but lessons have been learned also. So as a result of that, the approach is practical and strategic and will be useful in overcoming poverty.”

Gilbert F. Houngbo, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said, “With its successful experience in rural development and poverty alleviation, China has a lot to share with other developing countries. IFAD’s experience shows that the most effective way to reduce poverty and increase food security is to enable smallholder farmers and other poor rural people to build the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to overcome poverty themselves.”

China and IFAD are strengthening their partnership in areas like co-financing activities, with a common objective of ending poverty through rural development. While IFAD contributes its expertise wherever it might be useful, China increases its responsibility or its role in the cause of rural poverty reduction.

Marielza Oliveira, the director of the UNESCO office in Beijing, said the poverty alleviation program of China is one of the most astounding accomplishments of Chinese civilization. While China can lay claim to a host of amazing accomplishments, according to her, lifting almost 800 million people out of poverty is something that no other country has ever been able to achieve, either as a proportion of its population or in absolute numbers.

“This is a lesson that the entire world can learn from, with a lot of excellent practices that can be shared globally and help other countries as well,” she said.

Vincent Martin, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in China and DPR Korea, said targeted poverty alleviation is an excellent approach. “Targeted” means identifying individual families, and knowing who they are, where they are, and what are their needs, according to Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, who delivered a keynote speech at the 2017 Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum.

Country Director of UNDP in China Agi Veres believes China’s achievement in poverty reduction is of global significance. She also emphasized that China’s experience should not simply be exported to other countries. It requires some analysis to see which approaches and which strategies can be best applied.

“I think one thing that every country can really learn from China is the idea of innovation. China has used innovation not just in terms of technology, but also in terms of how they approach poverty reduction in a very beneficial way. So I think you need to keep an innovative mind, and try to apply that in the field of poverty reduction when it comes to innovating finance, for example, or innovating engagement with living standards and employment,” she emphasized.


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