China pledges US$2 billion to help development of poor countries

(REUTERS) - Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday (Sept 26) that Beijing will establish an assistance fund with an initial pledge of US$2 billion to help developing countries implement a global sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years.

"China will continue to increase investment in the least developed countries, aiming to increase its total to US$12 billion by 2030," Mr Xi told a sustainable development summit of world leaders at the United Nations.

"China will exempt the debt of the outstanding intergovernmental interest-free loans due by the end of 2015 owed by the relevant least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries," he added.

Leaders from nearly 200 nations are poised to adopt a sweeping plank of global goals to combat poverty, inequality and climate change in the broadest and most comprehensive effort ever by the United Nations to tackle the world's ills.

Adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, caps three years of brainstorming and negotiations with input from nearly every corner of the world, organizers say, and provides a roadmap for countries to finance and create change.