BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities on Friday joined hands with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bolster the country's poverty-relief efforts.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strategic cooperation between the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and the Gates Foundation, the two sides will work jointly on future strategies, personnel training and experience sharing.
"The signing of the MOU marks a further deepening of cooperation," said Liu Yongfu, head of the poverty reduction regulator, who spoke highly of the foundation's efforts in tackling extreme poverty, diseases and educational inequality.
"China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty in the past decades, but there are still 43.35 million impoverished people, and the fight will only be tougher as it enters the final stage," Liu said.
"China's experience in innovation and its successful track record in poverty alleviation can provide invaluable lessons for other developing countries," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, noting that China is the largest contributor to the UN's Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people in poverty worldwide.
The foundation is willing to support China through the final stages of its mission to eliminate absolute poverty and looks forward to helping China continue to play a leading role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Gates said.
The two sides will conduct policy research in related fields and work to share China's successful experiences to other developing countries so that they can better cope with similar challenges.
The Gates Foundation will also seek cooperation with the Chinese government in rural health, improving nutrition for children in poor regions and financial support for rural poverty reduction.