Relaymedia

China Moves to Stamp Out Poverty That Represents Five Percent of Its Total Population By 2020

( [email protected] ) May 10, 2016 02:23 PM EDT
People in poverty line or those earning 2,300 yuan ($362) or less a year in China make up 5 percent of its nearly 1.4 billion population, and the government wants poverty eliminated by 2020.
China has lifted more people out of poverty than anywhere else in the world.

People in poverty line or those earning 2,300 yuan ($362) or less a year in China make up 5 percent of its nearly 1.4 billion population, and the government wants poverty eliminated by 2020.

A Cabinet official, Liu Yongfu, said the drive is to start this year by transferring at least two million people from remote areas to progressive cities and provinces where there is better access to social services such as education and healthcare, better roads and water supply.

"These mass relocation is a strategy targeted at lifting 10 million citizens out of poverty by 2020. We will talk with the localities and then increase the transfer step-by-step," said Yongfu, head of the Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

China enjoys an unabated economic growth for two decades, but in spite of that poverty remains the prevailing issue in rural areas where access to education and healthcare is inadequate. Lack of jobs also forced adults to leave home to seek better future.

Measuring poverty in China is quite a tricky exercise, though, because of the huge disparities between the cost of living in cities and rural areas.

Last March Premier Li Keqiang promised a 43 percent increase in funding for poverty alleviation programs. He first announced the relocation concept to deal with the problem in October last year, which, he said, to top off by 2020.

Li had urged local authorities to provide housing, healthcare, schooling, and employment for relocated citizens.

Since kicking off-market reforms in 1978, China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, but it remains a developing country, and the reforms are incomplete, the World Bank says.