China / Society

China's poverty-relief achievements, challenges

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-13 14:38

BEIJING - Saturday marks the 23rd International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is also China's second National Poverty Relief Day.

In preparation, Beijing will host the Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum, during which around 300 worldwide representatives will gather to share their experience in combating poverty.

President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the forum.

Following are some facts and figures on China's poverty-relief achievements and the challenges the country faces to realize its goal of lifting all people out of poverty by 2020.

Efforts and achievements:

-- Since 1978, when the reform and opening up policy was first adopted, China has lifted more than 700 million of its citizens out of poverty.

-- China was the first developing country to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reducing the population living in poverty by half ahead of the 2015 deadline.

-- The central government allocated 39 billion yuan (6.1 billion U.S. dollars) for poverty alleviation in 2013, up 18.9 percent year on year. In 2014, the figure was raised by another 10 percent to 43.3 billion.

-- Poverty relief will be a major issue for a key meeting later this month to set the course for China's development over the next five years (2016-2020).


-- China still had 70.17 million people in the countryside living below the country's poverty line of 2,300 yuan in annual income at the end of last year. If using the new international poverty line of 1.9 U.S. dollars a day as benchmark, the number will see a substantial rise.

-- Poverty-stricken areas are scattered across the country. Six regions, including Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the provinces of Henan, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan, had an impoverished population of over 5 million.

-- Despite the healthy growth of the poverty relief fund, results have fallen short of expectations: Only 12.32 million people emerged from poverty in 2014, compared with 43.29 million in 2011.

-- More than 200,000 people still have no access to power, and millions lack supply of clean water. Over 40 percent of the impoverished population was caused by illness, and 10 million need relocation.

Assisting global efforts:

-- While striving to reduce poverty domestically, China has also supported other developing countries in the cause.

Speaking to a United Nations summit last month, President Xi pledged an initial 2 billion U.S. dollars to establish an assistance fund to help developing nations reach the target.

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