World Food Program
BEIJING, CHINA (Xinhua) - "I feel more responsible when I see so many people in the world are suffering from hunger," Li Ning, the ambassador against hunger for World Food Program (WFP), told Xinhua here recently in an exclusive interview.
Li Ning, the legendary gymnast who won three gold medals in Los Angles Olympics in 1984, visited Bangladesh from Dec. 4 to 8 as WFP ambassador against hunger to check the implementation of Chinese fund in Bangladesh.
The Chinese government donated more than 2 million U.S. dollars through WFP to Bangladesh in 2008 and 2009.
After seeing China-sponsored WFP Vulnerable Group Development project in Sirajganj district, 134 kms northwest of capital Dhaka,Li Ning said with the cooperation of different levels of government and local NGO, the project is running smoothly and efficiently. "The vulnerable people are really benefiting from the project," he said.
Li Ning was born in early 1960s in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. He still remembers the feeling of being hungry when he was a little boy.
WFP started food assistance to China in 1979. Li Ning said his home town Guangxi is one of the beneficiaries which got assistance from WFP at the early stage.
"I feel happy and honored to have an opportunity to work for WFP. It is a return to what WFP has done for us," he said.
Li Ning, who surprised the world by lighting the main torch at the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics 2008, became the first Chinese ambassador against hunger for WFP on Oct. 13 this year.
China became a donor in 2005 after WFP ended 26-year-old food assistance to the country. Up to the end of 2008, China has donated 33 million U.S. dollars to WFP projects all over the world.
Li Ning said China's help to Bangladesh and other poor countries shows its responsibility as a big country. "China has become stronger and prosperous. It should play a big role in international affairs," he said.
Li Ning said China's assistance to poor countries not only promotes the friendship but also strengthens the diplomatic relationship between China and those countries.
"I want to try my best to help those who are in need and bring more people out of poverty," he said.
Li Ning said he wants to make the Bangladeshi people see the friendship of the Chinese people with his visit and he also wants to make more people know the WFP program and the significant of Chinese assistance.
"I think more and more people will be concerned with the hungry people and will do something for them," Li said.
While being asked whether he feels burdened as the ambassador, Li Ning said, "I don't feel it is a burden. But I will work hard."
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Updated 2630 days ago Article ID# 237228
World Food Program