Photo: WFP/Michael Huggins


The Situation

Rapid and substantial economic transformations over the past 35 years in the Peoples’ Republic of China have translated into remarkable progress in poverty reduction and social development. By lifting millions out of hunger, the country met its Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015 and reduced the global hunger rate by two thirds.

However, large pockets of poverty still exist – especially in remote, mountainous areas – and there are large income disparities and gaps in nutritional status between rural and urban areas. Almost 150.8 million people are malnourished.

The rural landscape is dominated by more than 200 million smallholder farmers, who produce the majority of the food consumed nationally and manage 95 percent of the cultivated land. For those living in the most remote locations, with poor infrastructure and limited access to financial services and markets, it is difficult to participate in the national economy.

China is also one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. More than 186 million people are affected by droughts and floods, which reduce the country’s potential grain output by an estimated 20 million tons per year.  This vulnerability is exacerbated by the expansion of farming into disaster-prone areas and by poor maintenance of water conservation systems.

WFP's Work

  • Nutrition -WFP supports the Government in its efforts to meet its target of bringing stunting rates among children under 5 to less than 7 percent by 2020. WFP provides technical advice and expertise to improve the delivery of nutrition programs in selected “poverty counties”, with a special focus on hard-to-reach areas.
  • Resilience building -WFP supports efforts to help vulnerable smallholder farmers in areas such as Gansu, Hainan, Hunan, Anhui and Guangxi provinces to enhance their capacity of generating income and becoming integrated into national food supply chains, including access to markets and to financial services.
  • Disaster preparedness -WFP supports efforts to build the resilience of targeted rural communities in arid and semi-arid regions (in Gansu, Anhui and Guangxi provinces and other disaster-prone regions) where climate-related shocks and stressors can easily wipe out any small gain in production.
  • South-South Cooperation – WFP’s Centre of Excellence in China helps share China’s rich experience in food security, nutrition improvement and poverty alleviation with other developing countries, with the goal of supporting them in the achievement of their Sustainable Development targets by 2030.
  • Private-public partnerships – WFP works with the Chinese government to create partnerships with companies and civil society organizations that can provide technical and financial assistance to people living in food insecure areas.