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Poverty relief projects to help 90 million people
( 2002-02-04 11:01 ) (1 )

Partnerships with foreign charities and relief organizations are to be sealed this year in an intensifying fight to rid China of poverty.

Officials are to beef up campaigns to promote efforts to rescue the remaining 30 million people languishing below the poverty line.

They will also act to consolidate the living standards of another 60 million people whose annual income is less than 865 yuan (US$104).

The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) has pinpointed destitution as one of the biggest challenges that China faces -- despite the great achievements made by the nation in social and economic development.

CFPA head Wang Yuzhao told the Second Plenary Meeting of the CFPA Fourth Executive Council on Saturday that most poor people are country dwellers and account for 10 per cent of China's rural population, he said.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at home and abroad will play an increasing part in raising charity funds and launching poverty relief projects to help the poor shake off poverty.

The CFPA -- a leading poverty relief NGO in China -- has provided 36 million yuan (US$4.3 million) to more than 840,000 rural families to help them get rid of poverty, said its Secretary-General He Daofeng.

A large slice of the 64 million yuan (US$7.7 million) in charity funds raised by the foundation last year was donated by international organizations and overseas NGOs, he said.

The foundations implemented 27 poverty relief projects last year, He said. These fell into three categories: improving farmers' independence, raising social security and co-ordinating emergency aid to disaster-stricken regions.

It launched the Western China Angel Project to equip hospitals in the western areas with computerized management and Internet diagnosis software, he explained.

Leaders from 2,800 hospitals in the western region will be given management training within three to five years while more than 1,500 hospitals will be equipped with modern management systems and interactive network platforms.

He added a total of 15.9 million yuan (US$1.9 million) of loans has been given to farmers in eight counties last year through the Micro-Finance Poverty Reduction Project with the aim of improving their skills.



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