Forty more Chinese counties have now been removed from the country's official list of impoverished areas.
The country's drive to end poverty has produced some startling numbers as China addresses conditions in 125 impoverished counties in 20 central and western Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
China's poverty relief office, the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, say a total of 68 counties have been lifted out of poverty. China has 34 provinces and about 1400 counties within those provinces.
Over the past five years, the impoverished population in rural areas was reduced to 30.46 million in 2017 from 98.99m in 2012, down by 68.53m or nearly 70 per cent.
The poverty headcount ratio dropped from 10.2 per cent in 2012 to 3.1 per cent in 2017. Each year, 13.7 million impoverished people are pulled out of poverty. In its 40 years of reform and opening up, China has now successfully lifted 800m people out of poverty.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said targeted poverty reduction strategies are the only way to reach those farthest behind and achieve the ambitious targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China's experience provided valuable lessons to other developing countries, he said.
The Chinese government has offered strong capital and policy support in order to win the battle against poverty. For instance, more rights have been delegated to county-level governments in poverty alleviation funds.
About 95 per cent of funding was directly accessible by county-level governments in 2017, up from 70 per cent in 2014.
An accumulated 443.7 billion yuan ($98 billion) of micro-loans were granted to support 11.23m registered impoverished households, plus tax and finance initiatives aimed at land, transport, water, electricity, and renovation of dilapidated buildings were rolled out.
There are still 30 million impoverished people in rural China who need to be lifted out of poverty in the next three years. A large proportion are poor because of illness and physical disabilities.
In 2014, China built a national poverty alleviation and development information system based on village-to-village and household-to-household identification across the country – enabling the government to mine information on the distribution of the impoverished population, causes of poverty and their needs.
The registration accuracy of impoverished people has reached 98 per cent and China's data on poverty has now reached individual villages, households, and even each person.
Now it is seeking effective remedies and different policies for different problems. Five approaches include fostering distinctive industries, advancing relocation, ecological compensation, strengthening education and improving social welfare system.
Pilot e-commerce programmes have begun in 428 counties to alleviate poverty and tourism-driven poverty alleviation programmes have been launched in 22,600 impoverished villages. Poverty alleviation through developing industries is enjoying good momentum.
China plans to have 10m people relocated for poverty reduction between 2016 and 2020. A total of 370,000 registered impoverished residents have been employed as forest protectors. Students from poverty-stricken households have been able to receive free vocational and high school education.
Content sourced from the People's Daily Online here