Loan pro­gram helps needy women start busi­nesses

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

For ru­ral res­i­dent Chang Ling, a 50,000 yuan ($7,300) loan from a lo­cal bank early this year is help­ing her ful­fill her dream of en­trepreneur­ship.

Chang, 31, said she has long wanted to be­gin trad­ing in agri­cul­tural prod­ucts com­mon in her vil­lage in Wu­lian county, Shan­dong prov­ince, but she had lacked the cap­i­tal. With the loan, she can start her own busi­ness, sell­ing home­made dried sweet pota­toes on­line.

Chang’s loan is just one among the 279.4 bil­lion yuan in loans that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment had pro­vided to 5.38 mil­lion women, as of June this year, to start busi­nesses or cre­ate jobs, ac­cord­ing to the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice. Many of the re­cip­i­ents were poor.

On Sun­day, the 30th an­niver­sary of the adop­tion of the UN Dec­la­ra­tion on the Right to De­vel­op­ment, an in­ter­na­tional sem­i­nar was held to mark the oc­ca­sion.

In a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter

China sees de­vel­op­ment as the key to solve all of the coun­try’s prob­lems, and it is also the top pri­or­ity of the gov­er­nance of the Com­mu­nist Party of China.”

bil­lion yuan to the sem­i­nar, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Sun­day that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment views the rights to sur­vive and to de­vel­op­ment as ba­sic hu­man rights.

“As the world’s largest de­vel­op­ing coun­try, with a pop­u­la­tion of more than 1.3 bil­lion, China sees de­vel­op­ment as the key to solve all of the coun­try’s prob­lems, and it is also the top pri­or­ity of the gov­er­nance of the Com­mu­nist Party of China,” he wrote.

Liu Qibao, head of the pub­lic­ity depart­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said in his keynote speech that by lift­ing more than 700 mil­lion peo­ple from poverty, China has achieved the largest scale of poverty re­duc­tion in the short­est time in his­tory.

China’s de­vel­op­ment has also ben­e­fited the world, with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment hav­ing pro­vided more than 400 bil­lion yuan in as­sis­tance to 166 coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, he said.

Tom Zwart, di­rec­tor of the Nether­lands School of Hu­man Rights Re­search, spoke highly of the China’s ef­forts and achieve­ments to erad­i­cate poverty.

“The right to de­vel­op­ment is not about money, but about hu­man dig­nity,” he said.

On Fri­day, the State Coun­cil re­leased a poverty al­le­vi­a­tion plan for the 13th FiveYear Plan (2016-20). By the end of 2015, China still had 55.75 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing be­neath the national poverty line of 2,800 yuan per year.

China plans to have lifted all of its poor from poverty by 2020, es­pe­cially res­i­dents of the na­tion’s 128,000 needy vil­lages and 832 coun­ties, where poverty has be­come a re­gional is­sue, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, in a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter to an in­ter­na­tional sem­i­nar held to mark the 30th an­niver­sary of the adop­tion of the UN Dec­la­ra­tion on the Right to De­vel­op­ment in loans pro­vided to 5.38 mil­lion women — many of them poor — by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to start busi­nesses.

WANG FEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

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