During the ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000) more than 40
million impoverished Chinese people will be relieved of poverty
and the Chinese government's poverty relief plan will be realized,
according to a spokesman for the State Development Planning Commission.
He said that by the end of this year, China will be able to basically
solve the problem of providing enough food and clothing for its
entire impoverished population.
The spokesman said that during the five years, China implemented
the government's poverty-relief plan, adhered to the principle of
relieving poverty through development, increased input in impoverished
areas through various channels and found an effective way to develop
During the five years, special money allocated for poverty relief,
put in by the central government, is expected to exceed 94 billion
yuan(about US$12 billion). The central government also gave powerful
support to impoverished areas in large and medium-sized infrastructure
projects, resource development and biological environmental protection
projects, he said.
With concerted efforts by the whole society, the infrastructure,
production and living conditions in impoverished areas have been
largely improved, and science and technology, culture, health and
other social affairs have made new progress in poor areas as well.
Statistics show that by the end of 1999, the number of poor people
dropped from 70 million in 1995 to 34 million, and this year about
10 million more are expected to get out of poverty. The per capita
income of farmers in 592 counties under the State's poverty line
had been raised from 824 yuan (US$99.28) in 1995 to 1,347 yuan (US$162.29).
Some key impoverished areas have successfully got rid of poverty
as a whole, such as the Yimeng mountainous areas, Jinggang mountainous
areas, Dabie mountainous areas and the southwest part of Fujian
Province. In Yimeng mountainous areas, farmers' per capita net income
has reached 2,035 yuan (US$245.18).
The spokesman said that in impoverished areas, over 97 percent
of the townships have access to roads and highways and a steady
power supply. The dropout rates at schools have lowered to 6.9 percent,
and 98 percent of the townships have hospitals. The labor quality
and education in impoverished areas has also improved.