Rural Poverty: China Sets Eradication Target For 2020
In 1971, over 88 per cent of Chinese lived on less than a Dollar (600 FCFA) a day. Today, less than 2 per cent (about 140 million people) of the population
of 1.4 Billion is considered as being poor. In the past three decades since China opened up to the world, government has embarked on targeted poverty eradication efforts that have borne palpable fruit. As from 2011, Chinese living below the poverty line were those who earned less than 2,106 Yuan (about 187,757 FCFA) a year or 1.9 US Dollars (1,169 FCFA) a day.
According to Wang Sangui, Director of the China Anti-Poverty Research Institute at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, large-scale poverty alleviation in China greatly contributed to fulfilling Millennium Development Goals. Poverty fell from 60 per cent in 1990 to 4.2 per cent in 2014. “China became the first country in the world to halve the incidence of poverty by 2015,” he notes. Official estimations show that consumption poverty decreased over the past three decades from 884 million people in 1981 to 25 million people in 2011. Thus, 860 million people were brought out of poverty. Meanwhile, China has set 2020 as the target to get the remaining 2 per cent of the population (140 million people) out of rural poverty.
On the other hand, banks have in the past five years provided 3 Trillion Yuan (about 267,490 Billion FCFA) for poverty reduction, explains the Professor of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, who is also a member of the Consultation Committee of the Leading Group for Poverty Alleviation and Development. “All this has significantly boosted rural agricultural growth and income levels even more than national averages. In order to enhance poverty reduction, government has since 2004 ceased to impose taxes on rural households. Instead, the people are offered State subsidies,” Prof. Sangui disclosed.
In spite of the recent economic slowdown, China’s priority budget allocation to target poverty reduction increased by 30 per cent in 2017,” Prof. Sangui noted. Targeted poverty reduction policies have been development-oriented, with large-scale investments undertaken since 1986. “Over 200 Billion Yuan (about 17,837 Billion FCFA) has been spent by the central government on infrastructure and for production purposes. Also, more than 17,837 Billion FCFA has been disbursed as subsidised loans by banks,” Prof. Sangui said