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China to send extra 2 mln U.S. dollars to UN food program (05/08/08)


BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- China will send another 2 million U.S. dollars to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), in addition to its originally planned 2.5 million-U.S.-dollar donation to the world's largest humanitarian agency in 2008.

    The donation, announced by Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press conference here on Thursday, aims to help the WFP alleviate "difficulties it is facing now" as a result of soaring food prices and food shortages worldwide.

    A recent report by the World Bank showed that world wheat prices have jumped 181 percent during the past three years and food prices surged 82 percent in general.

    In 2007 alone, international grain prices soared by 42 percent.

    China is paying close attention to the impact on developing nations of these price rises, as well as the funding gap faced by international food aid programs, Qin said.

    "China is willing to provide assistance to the best of its ability," the spokesman added.

    China ended its 26-year history as a WFP food recipient at the end of 2005 and became the agency's third-largest donor after the United States and European Union in the same year, with a food donation of 577,000 metric tons, two and a half times that of 2004.

    "The Chinese government will continuously support the WFP's work and would like to make joint efforts with the international community to tackle the current challenge," Qin said.

Editor: Amber Yao

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