Businesses to play constructive role in reducing poverty

Wang Yanlin
Funds from Mary Kay have improved health management, cultural protection and business development in one Yunnan village. Such efforts are a model to others, says UN official.
Wang Yanlin
Businesses to play constructive role in reducing poverty

Women from the Waipula Village in Yunnan Province showcase their ethnic Yi embroidery in Shanghai. The village was supported by Mary Kay in a program to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development. Mary Kay paid special attention to helping women develop their skills and participate in social affairs. The program was selected as China’s first model case for fulfilling sustainable development goals by the UNDP.

Corporate citizens can play an important role in property reduction, but this role should not rest upon cash donations alone, said a United Nations Development Programme official as China observed National Poverty Relief Day on Thursday.

“Companies can help a lot in changing facets of poor areas, and I am happy to see more of them have paid attention to sustainable development through giving more than just money,” said Wan Yang, assistant China director of UNDP.

One example is Mary Kay, a leading cosmetics company, which donated US$420,000 to the Waipula Village in Yunnan Province. The funds were used to improve health management, cultural protection and business development in the village. People there are encouraged to engage in ecological tourism by developing their cultural heritage, such as ethnic Yi embroidery, and Mary Kay is helping more women in the area participate in social affairs.

“Such practices set a good example for others because they not only help in the short term, but can sustain development in the long run,” Wan said.

The village was selected as China’s first model case for fulfilling sustainable development goals set by UNDP. Since the program was launched two years ago, the poverty rate in the village has been reduced to 0.77 percent, down from 28 percent previously.

Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that the country will encourage endeavors from all sides to meet the goal of lifting over 10 million people out of poverty this year.

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