China, IFAD Sign Loan Agreement Against Poverty

A loan agreement for the People's Republic of China, in which the program of "West Guangxi Poverty-Alleviation Project" will receive a US$30.4 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), was signed Tuesday at the Fund's Rome Headquarters by Chinese Vice-Minister of Agriculture Wan Baorui and IFAD President Fawzi Al- Sultan.

The project area comprises 74 townships in 10 counties of the western part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China.

The goal of the West Guangxi Poverty-Alleviation Project is to achieve sustainable poverty eradication for 240,000 vulnerable rural households living in an environment with degraded natural resources.

Women form the most significant group amongst the targeted population, as they contribute significantly to farm production and household tasks. However, they have less than average access to education and training and hence to income-earning opportunities.

The objective is to achieve a sustainable increase in productive capacity, and to offer increased access to economic and social resources, including financial services, education, health and social networks.

The priority needs of the households, as determined by a participatory rural appraisal are: to have more food in order to bridge the hunger season; to have immediate access to safe drinking water; to earn more income and to improve education and health facilities. In general, the households consulted requested assistance for investments in production activities to raise their incomes and improve food security.

A participatory rural appraisal workshop was conducted to train township project management offices, and further training sessions will be held to prepare the village development plans with the participation of the target group.

The IFAD has so far extended 17 projects to China, for a total loan amount of about US$403.2 million.

(Xinhua 02/21/2001)

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UNDP, China Launches New Anti-Poverty Project



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