UN Volunteer Wu Chao, serving with the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) since 2018, contributes to China’s cooperation on poverty alleviation and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IPRCC, jointly established by the Chinese government, UN Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and other international organizations in 2004, is committed to the internationalization of China's poverty reduction experience.
As a Programme Assistant with IPRCC’s Cooperation Division, Wu Chao coordinates the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Rural Solutions Portal Project. She supports the East Asia Poverty Reduction Cooperation Project Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) on Poverty Alleviation and the China-World Bank Poverty Alleviation Project.
Wu Chao has been excellent in performing her duties. The management and colleagues acknowledge her diligence, professionalism, knowledge, skills for coordination and leadership. Recognizing her work, IPRCC also presented her an Award for Excellence in the Year 2019. --Mr Lu Liqun, Director of Cooperation Division, IPRCC
Learnings on poverty reduction
The World Bank loan projects have implemented a community-driven development approach through sustainable development in poor rural areas, reaching the poorest and most disadvantaged ethnic minorities in western China and developing the agriculture-based industry.
Speaking of her experience with IPRCC, Wu says, "I believe that the China-World Bank cooperation in poverty reduction has produced many achievements and lessons, which are important for knowledge-sharing, not only within China, but also with the rest of the world".
Promoting international cooperation
"While eradicating its own poverty, China has also assisted other countries in poverty reduction within its mandate," Wu says. One such initiative is the East Asia Poverty Reduction Pilot Project, the first village-level China-aid project on poverty reduction, implemented in Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR.
The initiative targets infrastructure and public service facility construction, livelihood improvement, capacity building and technical assistance. It aims to do so through demonstration and promotion of China’s successful experience in poverty reduction. "The project has been useful to explore new international cooperation methods on poverty reduction, and to share China’s experience and practices in the field," Wu points out.
Lancang Mekong Cooperation on Poverty Alleviation
Another initiative is the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), a dialogue and cooperation mechanism between governments on poverty reduction. Wu assisted in organizing the 2019 Seminar on Capacity Building for Lancang-Mekong Poverty Reduction Cooperation. The 3-week seminar included a field visit to Guizhou province, which has made tremendous progress in eradicating poverty. Participants included government officials and poverty reduction practitioners.
“During this field visit, I was impressed by the devotion of one of the country members, who seemed eager to absorb development experiences from the local counties in Guizhou. The team leader even followed up on some materials after returning to their country. It was evident that he valued the opportunity to learn anti-poverty techniques, and I could see his passion and eagerness to help poor people in his country to come out of poverty. I realized that living in a world without extreme poverty is a goal for every individual. In the field of international poverty reduction, I want to do more to share China's experience,” Wu says.
Support poverty reduction network
In 2020, Wu also started to monitor the IFAD Rural Solutions Portal project to identify the ways of rural development, including Chinese functional poverty reduction experiences, and prompt them for South-South cooperation. The aim of the project is to build a website with specific content on practical rural development and anti-poverty solutions. It will be convenient for poverty reduction practitioners to get access, to find anti-poverty methods and to improve their living conditions.
I believe that China has made progress in eradicating extreme poverty. However, there are still crucial challenges to achieving better livelihoods for people living in poor areas. Across the world, rural areas still continue to be home for the poor, who are exposed to vulnerabilities. Inequality has been on the rise among regions of developing countries and developed countries; there are clear imbalances between rural and urban areas. There is still so much work to do and that is why we must all act together to achieve environmental and social justice for all. --UN Volunteer Wu Chao
Wu Chao is one of over 50 UN Volunteers that have served with the IPRCC since 2008. Click here to read the story of UN Volunteer Jin Liu, who is also serving with IPRCC.