Walmart fights chil­dren’s mal­nu­tri­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSI­NESS - By JING SHUIYU jing­shuiyu@chi­

School kitchens will be built plus milk and eggs will be given to poverty-stricken kids

Walmart Inc do­nated 2.65 mil­lion yuan ($382,175) it has raised from its staff, sup­pli­ers and cus­tomers to a Chi­nese foun­da­tion in early Jan­uary, aim­ing to en­hance the nutri­tional con­di­tions of more stu­dents liv­ing in poor ar­eas.

The pledge to the China Foun­da­tion for Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion is pro­jected to help about 5,000 chil­dren to im­prove their phys­i­cal growth, said the com­pany.

Tang Min, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of the YouChange China So­cial En­tre­pre­neur Foun­da­tion, saidWal­mart’s long-term en­deav­ors and in­no­va­tive meth­ods in pub­lic char­ity have had a pos­i­tive im­pact on al­le­vi­at­ing poverty in China.

Fu Xiaom­ing, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent in charge of cor­po­rate af­fairs at Walmart China, said: “We look for­ward to work­ing with non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions and part­ners who share sim­i­lar char­i­ta­ble goals with us to pro­mote so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (in 2017), in order to pro­duce more syn­er­gies and help Chi­nese peo­ple live a bet­ter life.”

The do­na­tion was raised by Walmart, to­gether with its sup­pli­ers, cus­tomers, CFFPA and Ten­cent at a char­ity event last Oc­to­ber, with a goal to pro­vide a car­ton of milk and an egg to school­child­ren in pover­tys­tricken re­gions, and to build mod­ern kitchens.

Fund­ing from cus­tomers na­tion­wide ex­ceeded 1.052 mil­lion yuan, ac­count­ing for 39.7 per­cent of the to­tal.

Data show that some Chi­nese chil­dren still suf­fer from mal­nu­tri­tion.

In 2015, 9 per­cent of Chi­nese young peo­ple were thin­ner than the stan­dard level, and 5 per­cent of chil­dren aged be­tween 6 and 11 suf­fered from ane­mia, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

Di­rec­tor of UN Women China Of­fice Julie Brous­sard said she be­lieves that en­ter­prises have a very cru­cial role to play in both poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and the empowerment of women.

This was the Walmart’s lat­est ef­fort on the im­prove­ment of the nutri­tional con­di­tions and healthy growth of chil­dren in China.

Prior to this, do­na­tions fromWal­mart China and its sup­pli­ers have been used to pro­vide 1.3 mil­lion meals to around 5,000 stu­dents in ele­men­tary schools in Yun­nan, Guizhou, Hu­nan, Guangxi and He­bei, and set up kitchens for 10 schools ben­e­fit­ing 1,700 stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Walmart China also briefed on its strate­gic pri­or­i­ties for cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity in 2017. These will fo­cus on three main fields: women’s eco­nomic empowerment, chil­dren’s food safety & nutri­tion, and sus­tain­abil­ity and com­mu­nity. For in­stance, it is plan­ning to in­vest $250 mil­lion in food se­cu­rity re­search in the next five years in the coun­try.

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