POVERTY On June 21, Vice Minister of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, delivered a speech on China’s efforts in reducing poverty at the Africa-China High-Level Dialogue and Think Tank Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethi
Eradicating poverty is a common goal for human beings, and a worldwide challenge. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese Government have long attached great importance to poverty alleviation and development as well as been an active advocator and powerful promoter of the global cause of poverty reduction. Particularly, since reform and opening up began in the late 1970s, Chinese people have spared no efforts in the fight against poverty and realized historic achievements.
China has been conducting large-scale, well-organized and planned programs on poverty alleviation and development since the mid-1980s. With the joint efforts of the entire Chinese society and support from the international community, China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty and become the first developing nation to realize the goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger under the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 shows that the number of citizens China has raised out of poverty accounts for 70 percent of the world’s total, making it a significant contributor to advancing the goals.
Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, the Chinese Government has made it clear that all poor rural residents, as defined by the current prevailing standard, should be lifted out of poverty by 2020. The problem of regional poverty should also be solved. Winning the battle against poverty and achieving the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is currently at a critical stage.
Over the past four years, with consistent efforts, about 55 million rural poor residents were lifted out of poverty from 2013 to 2016. The target of lifting 10 million people out of poverty annually was fulfilled in four consecutive years. The income growth rate of poor residents in rural areas was higher than the national average, and the livelihoods of destitute households were significantly improved.
In practice, poverty alleviation efforts have been directed by the government with diverse participants from different regions, departments and professions pooling their efforts for a shared goal.
China has carried out targeted poverty alleviation. A total of 320 central departments were assigned to pair with 592 destitute counties to help them shake off poverty. In addition, 68 centrally administered state-owned enterprises assisted anti-poverty efforts in 108 impoverished counties in disadvantaged former revolutionary base areas, helping more than 10,000 poor villages address water, electricity and other infrastructure problems.
We also supported concerted efforts in poverty alleviation. A total of 18 developed provinces and cities in the east supported 10 less developed counterparts in the west by providing them with funds, skilled professionals, innovative ideas and business investment. All sectors of society were encouraged to participate in anti-poverty programs.
In 2014, China set October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, as China’s Poverty Alleviation Day with the aim of encouraging social participation in the cause.
President Xi Jinping said helping people to live a better life is the original intention and ultimate goal of our entire work. China has constantly adhered to the principles of depending on the people, serving the people, making the people share the results of development and striving for common prosperity. To this end, the Central and local governments have been prioritizing issues concerning poor people’s living necessities, compulsory education, basic medical care and housing.
Large-scale special programs on poverty alleviation were launched and favorable policies and financial support were introduced. In 2016 alone, financial support for poverty alleviation at the central and provincial levels amounted to 100 billion yuan ($15.09 billion). Micro-financing credit for anti-poverty efforts was increased by 170.6 billion yuan ($25.74 billion). A total of 8.02 million poor households received small loans totaling 283.3 billion yuan ($42.75 billion). The poor population in specific groups such as women, children and the elderly has been taken as the focus of poverty reduction, and the government has increased support for these groups in policy priorities.
We have been making efforts to increase people’s desire and ability to develop themselves and to help them form a mindset of selfdependence and shake off the shackles of poverty and backwardness with diligence and hard work.
We have been persistently taking targeted poverty alleviation as the fundamental tactic for poverty alleviation efforts. President Xi stressed that a targeted approach is vital in fighting poverty, and it will determine the success of the poverty alleviation drive. We have proposed such a targeted approach at a time when China faces a daunting challenge in its efforts to eliminate the final pockets of poverty across the nation.
Targeted measures are implemented in terms of funding, projects and recipients. Every impoverished household is guaranteed help,