Chinese Premier Says China Will Expand Foreign Aid Efforts for MDGs
Anchor: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says despite difficult financial times, China will fulfill its obligations to help other developing countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals. CRI's Zheng Chenguang takes a look.
Addressing world leaders on the third day of the U.N. summit on the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, Wen Jiabao said China would cancel the debt of 50 poor nations in an effort to help developing countries achieve their targets.
"Here I would like to announce that China will in the next three years donate $14 million to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Second, China will reduce and cancel debts of the least developed countries. By the end of 2009, the Chinese government had canceled debts worth $3.81 billion U.S. dollars owed by 50 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries. We will cancel their debts associated with the outstanding governmental interest free loans that mature in 2010."
Wen said over the past 10 years since the UN millennium summit in 2000, the basic daily demands of a great number of people worldwide have been guaranteed.
But many countries are still lagging behind in trying to hit their MDG targets.
"The progress toward the Millennium Development Goals over the past decade has been uneven in different regions and fields. Many countries have yet to make visible headway in improving the health of women and children, achieving gender equality and protecting the air quality of the environment."
The Chinese premier is also calling on the international community to prioritize African development and poverty alleviation so as to fulfill the MDGs in the coming five years before the 2015 deadline.
Wen also announced a new initiative to help Pakistan with its rebuilding efforts after heavy floods in late July killed more than 1,750 people and forced at least 10 million from their homes.
"Since July this year in order to support Pakistan's efforts in fighting floods and rebuilding the country, China has decided to provide it with $48 million of humanitarian assistance and has sent a relief team to the disaster-stricken areas. I wish to take this opportunity to announce that China will on top of the pledged assistance provide another $200 million of assistance to Pakistan."
Arriving in New York on Tuesday for a three-day visit, the premier will also attend the general debate of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly and a summit of the UN Security Council member states.
For CRI, I'm Zheng Chenguang.