Bill Gates hails China’s achievements in poverty reduction

NEW YORK, Sept. 27,
(Xinhua) – Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has hailed China’s efforts
and achievements in poverty reduction, and called on other countries to take a
page from China’s experience.

“China drove the
first wave of extreme poverty reduction, and it was quite phenomenal how over
about a 20-year period they drove the rate of extreme poverty down
dramatically,” Gates said during the second annual Goalkeepers event held
in New York from Tuesday to Wednesday. 

Goalkeepers is a
campaign launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate
progress toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,
also known as Global Goals, a universal call to action to end poverty, fight
inequality and injustice, and fix climate change. 

China has made an
unprecedented contribution to reducing global poverty by lifting 700 million
people out of poverty over the past 30 years, but rapid population growth in
the poorest countries, particularly in Africa, could stall this progress,
according to The Goalkeepers Data Report 2018 released by the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation last week.

The world’s priority
for the next three decades should be a third wave of poverty reduction in
Africa, which was preceded by the first wave in China and the second in India,
the report said. 

China is in the final
stages of working to eradicate poverty by 2020, a pledge made in 2015 when
there were about 70 million poor people.  

Through unflinching
commitment and measures including targeted poverty relief, strong financial
support and bespoke development plans for rural areas, example, tourism,
e-commerce and relocation, the number of poor people in China has continued to
drop.

Official data showed
that there were 30 million remaining by the end of 2017. 

“It’s impressive
that China is putting a lot of resources into trying to drive the remaining
extreme poverty to near zero,” Gates said.

“There are a lot
of lessons that come out of that. What did they (Chinese) do in the agriculture
sector? what did they do with livestock, with health care?” Gates said,
citing China’s success in its fight with malaria and tuberculosis.

Gates said his
foundation is working with China in poverty reduction through collaboration in
the areas such as primary health care, agriculture and digital financial
services. 

The Microsoft founder
also praised China for extending help to other poor countries, African
countries in particular, in addition to its stellar poverty relief on the
domestic front. 

“China has just
held the FOCAC summit, a lot of African leaders came (and participated). The
strength of the relationship and the commitment of resource was very strong
there. We think it’s an impressive goal that we’re trying to help with,”
Gates said. 

During the Beijing
Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held early this month, China
put forward eight initiatives and backed it up with a pledge of financing
amounting to US$60 billion.

The latest pledge came
after China had honored its 2015 promise to provide Africa with funding support
totaling 60 billion dollars.

The eight initiatives
cover areas including health care and green development. 

At this year’s
Goalkeepers event, Dysmus Kisilu won Progress Award for his work in Kenya on
increasing agricultural productivity for smallholder farmers.

Amika George was
recognized with Campaign Award for her efforts to help girls from low-income
families in Britain to access sanitary products.

Nadia Murad won
Change-maker Award for transforming herself from a victim of ISIS atrocity to
an activist speaking for the Yazidis.

GNA

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